The Unity: The Unity (Steamhammer/SPV)
If you like your heavy metal delivered with an old-school punch, you need to know about The Unity. This new majestic melodic European metal group—helmed by members of Gamma Ray, Firewind and Uli Jon Roth’s band—makes clear its intent from the opening bombast of leadoff track “Rise and Fall.” Helloween, Deep Purple and Symphony X collide on The Unity’s self-titled debut, which throbs with a dozen songs all six members had a hand in writing. The band’s name represents the intended union of heavy metal and hard rock, and that combination is most evident on the uplifting closer “Never Forget,” which sounds like Iron Maiden jamming with Journey. The band’s attention to production details—especially on moody “The Wishing Well” and the foreboding “Super Distortion”—add fresh elements to tired genres.