UNISONIC-Live In Wacken

Ear Music

04 September 2017 by Michel van de Moosdijk

The prestigious Wacken Open Air festival is a yearly event and a fruitful opportunity for bands to show their abilities in front of about 80.000 metal maniacs from all over the world. It is also a great event to do some live recordings. After Hansen & Friends also Unisonic decided to record their performance in August 2016 and release it about the same time as Kai Hansen & Friends released their CD/DVD. It was a busy weekend for Kai Hansen anyway as he also plays in Unisonic. Unisonic can easily be seen as a star studded outfit with Hansen on guitar, Michael Kiske (Place Vendome/Helloween) on vocals, Mandy Meyer (Krokus, Gotthard, Cobra and Katmandu) on guitar and bassist Dennis Ward and drummer Kosta Zafiriou who have played together for many years in Pink Cream 69. This is also released as a CD/DVD but the DVD only shows 32 minutes of the show, while the CD captured the whole performance. The reason behind this decision to not release the whole performance on DVD as well is beyond me. Anyway, it is what it is. A blistering live CD is what the result is. Meyer and Hansen form a deadly guitar duo with lots of room for their individual skills but also a lot of harmony twin solos, a thing that was so typical for the seventies and eighties metal bands but seems to have disappeared a bit. Not with Unisonic though! The musicians involved are extremely experienced and it shows on stage. Songs like ,,For The Kingdom’’, ,,Exceptional’’, ,,King For A Day’’, ,,Your Time Has Come’’, the old Helloween track ,,March Of Time’’ and ,,Star Rider’’ come across as a tight unit with Zafiriou’s drums and Ward’s bass lines as backbone, giving Meyer and Hansen the chance to do their thing while Kiske is his usual self. His high-pitched voice has not lost any power or expression during the years. Listen to ,,A Little Time’’ for instance. Half way through the song the band switches to the Priest classic ,,Victim Of Changes’’. Kiske just breezes through that high part that made Rob Halford so famous as if it is a daily routine for him. Dennis Ward, who spends most of his time in the studio producing, mixing and engineering has made sure that ‘Live In Wacken’ sounds from wall to wall, so I have absolutely no reason to fault this release except the short length of the DVD.