***HARD DRIVING GERMAN / ITALIAN MELODIC METAL BAND'S OUTSTANDING THIRD STUDIO ALBUM 'PRIDE' RELEASED MARCH 13TH ON STEAMHAMMER / SPV***
"Bristling with primal energy and fortified with a piquant, discernibly Neo-Classical sheen, The Unity made quite the entrance in the Spring of last year with their eponymous debut. Put together by one-time Gamma Ray alumni Henjo Richter and Michael Heré (on guitars and drums respectively) The Unity play a bombastic yet precisely focused blend of swaggering Hard Rock with a blistering Metal edge. In many respects it's kind of like a riotous mix of Eden's Curse, Gamma Ray and Pretty Maids, but with a healthy old-school injection from some of Britain's finest as well, think tinctures of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Black Sabbath (circa Tony Martin). I could wax lyrical at some length about most of the tracks on here but all I'll say is that if big hooks, stretching arrangements and rousing melody lines are your thing (and why wouldn't they be?) then 'Rise' is definitely an album you'll want to check out. As the lines between Hard Rock and Heavy Metal become ever more blurred, bands of this calibre are a rousing celebration of what's best in both worlds!" (Dave Cockett, Fireworks Magazine Autumn 2018.)
The Unity, the exceptional melodic German / Italian power metal band formed by Gamma Ray drummer Michael Heré and guitarist Henjo Richter, have confirmed the release of their awesome third album, 'Pride' on March 13th on Steamhammer / SPV. 'Pride', which will be available as a digipak CD, double gatefold transparent with black swirls vinyl (with printed inner sleeves), download and stream, is an even more impressive opus than 2018's much lauded predecessor 'Rise'.
Check out the video for 'We Don't Need Them Here' the first single taken from the album here:
Reflecting on the group's consistent, impressive development, Italian vocalist Gianbattista Manenti states that "I'd describe our current material not merely as an evolvement, because every band evolves in one way or another. In fact, I'm pretty proud of what we've achieved so far, not only in musical terms but also on a personal level."
Virtually all members of the superbly 'tight unit' of Manenti, Ehré and Richter, plus guitarist Stef E, bassist Jogi Sweers and keyboardist Sascha Onnen, were involved in writing the 12 captivating songs presented on 'Pride', ensuring on the one hand the album's intended stylistic diversity, and on the other that all band members identify with the material. "It also makes you think out of your own little box, because everybody has special talents and preferences which can result in surprising nuances as part of the creative process," explains Michael Ehré.
Pride's broad stylistic range includes radio friendly hard rock numbers such as 'Hands Of Time', 'Line And Sinker' and 'You Don't Walk Alone' through raw metal attacks like 'Scenery Of Hate' and the uptempo 'Damn Nation', to real shuffle rock tracks such as 'Rusty Cadillac'. The Unity have again applied the highest standards to combine all these elements in a uniform and contemporary-sounding sonic frame, with all songs - irrespective of their individual tempo - culminating in deeply melodic chorus sections.
'Pride', which (like its predecessor 'Rise') was recorded at the B-Castle Studio in Nordenham and mixed and mastered by Achim Köhler (Brainstorm, Sinner, Primal Fear) at his Indiscreet Audio studios, directly addresses the issue of a planet which seems to have been turned upside down in ecological and social terms. "Climate change, governments that act illegally, rampant populism - those are topics that you simply have to comment on," The Unity explain, taking, according to guitarist Stef, an unequivocal stand "against any kind of political radicalism, intolerance and oppression on 'We Don't Need Them Here'; the chorus is a passionate anthem to freedom." 'Hands Of Time' warns of the increasing destruction of the environment, while 'Line And Sinker', the second single - set to be released with a lavish video clip on 28 February - also allows insights into personal emotions.
'Pride', a consummate, uplifting, deeply melodious offering, which more than justifies the epithet of 'classic third album syndrome', is all set to blast The Unity into Hard Rock's heady stratosphere.
***CELEBRATED GERMAN / ITALIAN MELODIC POWER METAL BAND'S SOARING SOPHOMORE ALBUM 'RISE' RELEASED SEPTEMBER 14TH ON STEAMHAMMER / SPV***
"The Unity have wasted no time in firing out a lethal self-titled debut that borrows from Eden's Curse, hints at Tony Martin era Sabbath, early Dio, and, unsurprisingly, Gamma Ray. Somehow they also make the results hugely memorable, easily accessible, hard as nails and as smooth as silk. Superb vocals from Jan Manenti embellish the band's mysterious concoction quite wonderfully, with a twin guitar attack and lush keyboards, this debut stings like a rapier strike." (Fireworks Magazine, Summer 2017 issue).
The Unity, the superb melodic power metal band formed by Gamma Ray members Michael Ehré (drums) and Henjo Richter (guitar), are set to release their storming second album, 'Rise', on Steamhammer / SPV on September 14th. 'Rise' will be available as a digipak CD, double gatefold (transparent with black swirls vinyl LP with printed inner sleeves and CD in a cardboard case), and boxset containing 2LP, Digi CD, a 6-track bonus CD, patch, sticker, badge + poster, in addition to download and stream.
'Rise' is an even more accomplished offering than the band's self-titled debut album, which garnered glowing reviews throughout Europe on release in Spring 2017, and led to Unity being nominated 'Newcomer Of The Year' in Germany's leading Metal Hammer and Rock Hard magazines. All fired up, the band subsequently embarked on tours with Edguy and Sinner and wowed the crowds with their dynamic performances on the main stages of renowned festivals such as Bang Your Head, Metalfest and the Winter Masters Of Rock. "There were nights when we could hardly believe the fans' overwhelming enthusiasm," reminisces Michael Ehré, continuing; "lots of times the headliners of the show met us backstage when we came off, slapping our backs to show their respect."
Totally psyched, The Unity were already working on the successor to their debut when they took a call while they were in the studio. "When we received the offer during the production to tour with Axel Rudi Pell from October, our ambition was kindled all the more," reckons vocalist Gianba Manenti. "The only question was: Will we succeed in getting 'Rise' ready on time?" But the musicians more than rose to the challenge; Manenti recalls that "The most surprising thing was: While we'd initially thought that the tight deadline would be one of the most difficult aspects of the production, it turned out to motivate us even more, the unity professed in our band name turning out to be our greatest forte, plus our clear focus on the tasks ahead. Everyone in the band, from Michael and Henjo through guitarist Stef E to bassist Jogi Sweers and keyboardist Sascha Onnen, worked flat out to make sure that we'd finalise such a strong recording as 'Rise' on time."
While each and every one of the 13 melodious songs contained on 'Rise' massively impresses, mention must be made of rousing up-tempo numbers such as 'No Hero', set to be released as a single on August 10th, 'Last Betrayal' and 'Road To Nowhere', all of which show The Unity refusing to compromise in terms of speed and toughness without sacrificing huge, catchy melodies. Equally impressive are the radio compatible 'The Storm', which Ehré describes as "hard rock with pop appeal" and 'The Willow Tree', the band's first ever ballad.
***DYNAMIC NEW GERMAN HARD DRIVING MELODIC METAL BAND'S DEBUT SELF-TITLED ALBUM RELEASED May 5th ON STEAMHAMMER / SPV***
The Unity, the vital new band formed by Gamma Ray members Michael Ehré (drums) and Henjo Richter (guitar), have signed to Steamhammer / SPV to release their consummate, utterly compelling debut album as a digipak CD (with poster), double gatefold 180 gram vinyl (with printed inner sleeves and CD in a cardboard case), and download on May 5th. Richter has been part of the Hamburg power metal outfit for some twenty years, while Ehré's CV includes - prior to his joining the Gamma Ray fold in 2012 - renowned names such as Firewind, Uli Jon Roth and Unisonic.
The initial inspiration for The Unity is impossible to pin down to a definite date but was apparently an extended and increasingly tangible process. "During many gigs and countless hours in the rehearsal room, Michael and I discovered that we are on the same wavelength, on a personal as well as on a musical level. So we came up with the idea of focusing that part of our creativity that goes beyond Gamma Ray in another band," Richter explains. Michael Ehré adds: "Our artistic ideas are on the one hand so similar that we arrive at a common denominator most of the time and on the other hand they're different enough to ensure a diverse album that doesn't sound boring for a second. Particularly as this band consists of six first-rate songwriters." Richter and Ehré recruited four excellent musicians - who not only share their artistic vision but had already played live onstage with them in other constellations - to complete The Unity line-up; exceptional Italian vocalist Gianba Manenti, guitarist Stef E, bassist Jogi Sweers and keyboardist Sascha Onnen had all previously worked together in Ehré's former group Love.Might.Kill., who released two albums (in 2011 & 2012) and toured Europe extensively.
The Unity spent almost 18 months working flat out on 'The Unity', which was produced by the musicians themselves, (mostly at Ehré's own B Castle Studio), and mixed and mastered by Spain's Miquel A. Riutort at the Psychosomatic Recording Studio. The impressive cover artwork was penned by Alexander Mertsch who has worked for the likes of Deep Purple, Gamma Ray, Status Quo and Europe.
Every powerful hard rock and technically accomplished melodic metal note on 'The Unity' oozes with the creative potential of all the band members, all organic masters of their trade. Powerful numbers, such as the fast and tough album opener 'Rise And Fall', and the grooving 'No More Lies', with its dynamic guitar riff and melodious chorus are just as symptomatic of the group's unbridled energy as the slow, doom-laden 'God Of Temptation' which features a latent Black Sabbath flair thanks to its distinctive guitar hook. 'Close To Crazy', meanwhile, lives up to its "crazy" title and puts the pedal to the metal throughout its barely three minutes playing time, while melodic, catchy album closer 'Never Forget' features a chorus completely in major key, an anthemnic vocal line and Journey-esque atmospheric keyboards.