THE UNITY Album Review: “The Hellish Joyride”

“The Hellish Joyride”
Album Review by Iron Mathew


The Unity are a power metal band from Germany formed in 2016 – to date releasing four albums, ‘The Unity’ (2017), ‘Rise’ (2018), ‘Pride’ (2020), and ‘The Hellish Joyride’ (2023).

The band features a wealth of experience, with every band member playing (or has played) in other bands – so does this make The Unity a supergroup? Quite possibly, especially when you consider a supergroup is defined as – “a group formed by musicians already famous from playing in other groups”.

So if that’s the case, The Unity can be ranked alongside other supergroups, groups such as Withering Scorn, Elegant Weapons, The Three Tremors, Metal Allegiance, Act Of Defiance, Hollywood Vampires and Heaven & Hell, to name just a few.

The current The Unity line-up consists of drummer Michael Ehre (Gamma Ray, Primal Fear), guitarist Henjo Richter (Gamma Ray), guitarist Stef Ellerhorst (ex Love,Might,Kill), keyboardist Sascha Onnen (ex Love,Might,Kill, ex Mob Rules), vocalist Gianbattista Manenti (Odd Dimension, ex Love,Might,Kill), and (newest member) bass player Tobias Exxel (Edguy). Phew, that’s some résumé!

Right, the bands new album ‘The Hellish Joyride’, is not so much a hellish joyride, but a sensational ride of immense variation – The Unity roaming round the power metal genre to deliver every style of power metal you can imagine! And a few other styles too, just to keep your senses tingling – the band launching the album with the minute and a half intro ‘One World’, a soulful vocal performance over a mellow guitar line, progressing to become a full on crescendo of anticipation! Anticipation for the masterpiece of metal that follows – the band setting the airways alight with the fast paced ‘Masterpiece’. Delivered at an aggressively quick pace, ‘Masterpiece’ perfectly blends power and traditional metal, planting its foot firmly on the monitor and galloping on to a conclusion.

Moving in a more melodic metal direction, the title song ‘The Hellish Joyride’ is mid tempo infectious power metal to warm the heart – but also pump the adrenaline round the body at a faster rate! The band sound as though they’re having fun here, a jolly and very happy feel emanating strongly from the ‘The Hellish Joyride’ (the song). ‘Only The Good Die Young’ – and no, not a cover of Iron Maiden’s ‘Only The Good Die Young’ (off the bands 1988 ‘Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son’ album) – is a bombastic barrage of muscular metal blended with the highly addictive anthemic style, the band encouraging listeners, fans, followers and concert goers to come together as one, raising clenched fists high in the air to salute a cracking song. At over six minutes in length, ‘Saints And Sinners’ is the longest song on offer – and for the eagle eyed rock fan, for a second time no, ‘Saints And Sinners’ is not (another) cover song (and in any case, Whitesnake’s ‘Saint ‘An Sinners’ is spelled slightly differently) – is an epic in every sense of the word! From the short crescendo building intro to an electrifying turn of speed, ‘Saints And Sinners’ is a grand swagger of just how fucking great the power metal style of music is! The Unity are still a young band, barely ten years old, but the experience among the five-piece on show is staggering!

Spanning the gap between metal and rock, ‘Something Good’ is a hard rocking slab of hard rock to please the fans of rock (as well as metal). Standing on the bridge between the two genres, The Unity seamlessly make the transition from one style to another, proving their proficiency and prowess at broadening their musical horizons. But back to fast paced power metal we go with the red hot ‘Always Two Ways To Play’, banging heads hard as it blazes a fiery trail across the land. The band are at their melodious best here too, ‘Always Two Ways To Play’ featuring the most sing a long-able chorus heard on the album so far. ‘Awakening’ is a thirty second tension fuelled instrumental acting as an intro for the anthemic thunder that is ‘Golden Sun’ – a mid tempo swagger descending upon the album. The Unity are both majestic and elegant, as ‘Golden Sun’ marches proudly on. This is the third time I have been fortunate enough to review the German metallers, each album better than the last – ‘The Hellish Joyride’ surpassing the bands previous two with ease.

And blending heavy rock into their root power metal sound, the band stride on with the hard hitting ‘Stay The Fool’ – every rock fan mingling side by side with metal fans, thoroughly enjoying the music on offer. ‘Stay The Fool’ even has hints of Southern rock sewn into its fabulous framework, the band continuing to develop and grow their sound. And no, definitely not, ‘Never Surrender’ is not a third cover song – Saxon’s timeless classic from 1981 is not covered by The Unity – The Unity’s ‘Never Surrender’ is a fast paced gallop of foot on the monitor metal to get every metalhead everywhere banging their heads furiously. A simply barnstorming barrage of heavy metal, ‘The Hellish Joyride’ (the album) enters its final furlong with a fiery flourish – the twelfth and final song ‘You’re Not Forced To Stay’ bringing the album to a close with a hymn-like swagger. The incredible mix of rock and metal here is stunning, ‘You’re Not Forced To Stay’ a majestic ending to sparkling album.

Overall, a bombastic barrage of power metal come hard rock come traditional metal, ‘The Hellish Joyride’ is an infectious and addictive album.


One World
The Hellish Joyride
Only The Good Die Young
Saints And Sinners
Something Good
Always Two Ways To Play
Golden Sun
Stay The Fool
Never Surrender
You’re Not Forced To Stay

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