The only thing more incestuous than Kai Hansen playing guitar in a band with Michael Kiske and members of the band whose old singer replaced him, most likely, is bumping into your sister at an orgy. However, listening to Unisonics Ignition means you can keep your clothes and you can actual make eye contact at family gatherings.
In recent years, Michael Kiske has returned to the metal fold and Unisonic, the lead single, blasts out of your speakers at a break neck pace. The ferocious rhythm guitar nails down the pounding drums as Mandy Meyer’s lead licks scream. For a band that consists of so many veterans to the German music scene, it’s refreshing to still hear the late 70s and early 80s hard rock and metal influences seeping through.
Ignition is not all out, all the time. Souls Alive has more of an affinity with early 90s Gamma Ray, as the last third of the song bobs along on a bouncy bass line and tinkling piano. For a demo, it’s wonderfully produced, and Kiske still sounds as vibrant as ever, even if he can’t hit some of the absurd notes he used to in the Helloween days. He’s not 19 anymore, but the hook riffs of Sanctuary still have an air of teenage rebellion that show that put younger bands to shame.
Ignition is a fiery appetiser of the full album, due in April. While Unisonic have kept things on the quiet in the build up to their first release, with songs as strong as this. While there is the understandable token Helloween live track, I Want Out, it’s only really an ancillary reason to get your grubby mitts on Ignition.