2014 - Light Of Dawn
Information Unisonic Light Of Dawn
- Recorded and mixed by Dennis Ward. Recorded at HOFA Studios and The TrakShak, Karlsdorf, Germany. Mastered by Jürgen Lusky.
- The 2nd album of Unisonic 'Light Of Dawn' will be released on August 1st in Europe, on August 4th in UK, August 12th in USA and on July 23rd in Japan.
- The Keyboardist Gunter Werno will be playing keyboards, this is what Dennis Ward commented about him:
Dennis Ward: "I've never had such an efficient pre-production/songwriting session in my career. Unisonic is also proud to announce that onboard for this production we will be having Vanden Plas's own Günter Werno working on the keyboards. I've done many many productions with Günter and I'm happy to have him with us. It's always a pleasure."
Unisonic Light Of Dawn Charts position
Unisonic Light Of Dawn Different editions
01. Japanese CD edition: Standard 12 tracks + Bonus track 'Dare'.
02. Standard CD edition: 12 tracks by Earmusic.
03. Deluxe CD edition: 12 tracks + bonus track: 'Judgement Day'.
04. Limited Boxset 2CD + 7"vinyl edition: 12 tracks + bonus track: 'Judgement Day' + "Early Demos CD": 5 tracks + 7 Vinyl EP: 2 tracks + T-shirt + 6 pictures and poster.
05. Gatefold 2LP edition: 12 tracks + bonus track: 'Judgement Day' + download code.
06. 1st Press promo CD edition: 8 tracks, not final master and mix (The tracks are: 1. Your Time Has Come 2. Exceptional 3. For The Kingdom 4. Not Gonna Take Anymore 5. Night Of The Long Knives 6. Throne Of The Dawn 7. Demon 8. Shelter)
07. Mexican 2CD limited edition: 12 tracks + Bonus CD with 10 tracks: 6 tracks of 'For The Kingdom EP' plus studio versions 'Unisonic', 'My Sanctuary', 'Souls Alive - demo' and 'I Want Out - live Loud Park '12' by The Scarecrow records.
Unisonic 'Light Of Dawn' promotional stuff
Unisonic Light Of Dawn artwork
Created by graphic artist Martin Hausler (Official website) (who has previously worked with Unisonic on the band´s debut album cover design). According the press statement about For The Kingdom EP:"It constitutes only a very small excerpt of the futuristic album artwork."
Actually, the artwork has nothing to do with a "futuristic" design. Its based on the Steampunk culture. Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery, especially in a setting inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century. Probably you remember it for the Wild Wild West movie starring Will Smith.
Asked about the meaning of the artwork Martin Häusler did for the new album: Dennis Ward: "It's a good cover. It's really good art. We had the idea of somehow getting the 'U' of Unisonic into something epic. Then came the idea of ufo in the direction of Boston or Journey. Then came the idea of Steampunk. Now we have the UFO held in outer space with an ballon and running on old technology.Then Martin Häusler really went hardcore with the most amazing ufo and steampunk ufo we could ever imagine. It turned out better than my imagination. Now we have our own ufo.for an 'U'. We are pretty happy about that."
Michael Kiske: "It was an idea we got very fast, in fact it was our drummer Kosta, who thought about a spaceship and then Martin Häussler brought in the idea of the cover. He showed us the first try which was almost finished, we changed a few things, nothing important and we got it!"
Unisonic photo session 2014
On May 11th (Sunday), the band traveled to Berlin where they did the first photo session for the 'Light Of Dawn' promotion. Pictures by Erik Weiss (Official site).
Unisonic promotional tour Kiske & Ward in Spain & France
Unisonic started the promotion for the new album (and also for the new EP For The Kingdom) with a promotional tour in Spain on May 26th and May 27th (In Paris, France on 28th). That promotional tour consisted in a lot of interviews with different media, Radio, Magazines and also Television. This promo tour was organized by Top Artist Promotion.
Michael Kiske and Dennis Ward did a lot of interviews and with some radios they also did mini acoustic shows where they played for the first time the song 'Your Time Has Come'. They also played 'For The Kingdom', 'Souls Alive', 'My Sanctuary' and the typical short covers versions of Elvis Presley.
They did interviews in Spain on 26th with El Vuelo del Fenix (Spanish national radio, Radio 3), Metalovision Television, Radio Utopia 107.3,... And on 27th; Sala Cadillac Radio program (LH Magazine radio), Rafabasa.com. and many more.
Here are the interviews by Metalovision TV, TNT/Radio Utopia, Zombie War TV and GentlementChronicles:
Unisonic videoclip 'Exceptional'
Michael Kiske announced on Cadillac Solitario Radio program that Unisonic will film a videoclip for the song 'Exceptional'.
Michael said: "Yes, we will do it. It will be done the next days. It will be for ‘Exceptional’ when it has not changed…it is the perfect song for the video. We will do something like a recording situation; we will film in the studio like Metallica did for a DVD production. That will be a special video with a kind of concept and it will be filmed in the studio. The guys probably have some good ideas, but it will be surrounding as we will recording in the studio."
On June 4th, Unisonic filmed the videoclip 'Exceptional' at HOFA Studios.
The History Behind Light Of Dawn
The history about the second album of Unisonic started in Spring 2013, meanwhile Dennis was working in the third album of Place Vendôme and also making some promotional things with Pink Cream 69. They already had some tracks composed during the 1st album sessions but they didn't used. Gamma Ray even used one track which didn't add in the album in his album Empire Of The Undead. I'm talking about the track 'Built A World'. Kai Hansen talked about in Burrn magazine, he said: "...there's one song which we did not finish because it was a bit too different and we had no place in this album. The song was not finished; it was an idea or demo of Mandy Meyer who did it with a friend. I really liked that song because it had a different "touch", so I added a few vocals, but for time reasons we left it. I think it could fit better in Gamma Ray than in Unisonic."
So after a break with Avantasia, Gamma Ray and Pink Cream 69 at the end of the Summer they started working on the new album. Kai Hansen was busy with his main band so he could not help in this part of the process.
In October 2013, Dennis Ward announced on his facebook account they finished writing a ballad for the new Unisonic album. Meanwhile Michael was working together with Sandro Giampietro in writing some tracks. It seems the composition work with Sandro in Kiske's 6th solo album is being productive so they keep working together also for Unisonic. Michael explained (at the end of October): "Two weeks ago I wrote three songs together with Sandro, actually for Unisonic. I said to Kosta whose managing us. I'm just so creative with him so let's use it. I can write songs together with him very well. He has a nice house and in his house is a beautiful studio and he is better in producing and mixing than me anyway. So I can just have a basic idea on my iPhone; just a melody; I go to his house and then we sit down and within minutes there's a nice song there, part of it." At the end of December they organize the rehearsals or pre-production sessions for the new album which will take place in January. In these pre-production sessions the band chose the songs for the album. Michael commented how they choose songs for the album:"When 3 out of 4 like a new song, then the song is probably really good. It doesn’t matter who wrote the song. The opposite way when a song is only recorded that someone in the band has added something, makes no sense. Egos doesn’t help, only quality matters."
Rehearsals for the new album
In the 2nd week (7th, 8th & 9th) of January, Dennis Ward, Mandy Meyer, Michael Kiske and Kosta Zafiriou did the first pre-production session or rehearsal for the new album at HofaStudios in Karlsdorf, Germany. In this first first session Kai Hansen could not be there because he was working with Gamma Ray in a pre-listening session for his new album. The rest of Unimembers worked on 7 new songs.
A few weeks later (on January 30th & 31st), they reunited again for a 2nd pre-production session but this time, the whole band, with Kai Hansen. They worked on another 7-10 songs according Mandy Meyer comments. According Dennis Ward: "Full force now into the next Unisonic Production!!! I've never had such an efficient pre-production/songwriting session in my career."
On February 8th Dennis Ward announced that Vanden Plas keyboardist Günter Werno, who did the keys for all Place Vendôme albums, will play the keyboards in the next album of Unisonic. Dennis commented: "Unisonic is also proud to announce that onboard for this production we will be having Vanden Plas’s own Günter Werno working on the keyboards. I’ve done many many productions with Günter and I’m happy to have him with us. It’s always a pleasure."
Recording the album 'Light Of Dawn'
After the rehearsals its the moment to start recording the album... About the recording process Dennis says: "We did both rehearsal sessions and the drum recordings in the Hofa Studios, that’s close to my house…..Mandy’s guitars and my bass guitars we did in my studio. I have a small studio where I do all the mixing. The lead vocals were done in Michael’s private studio. Kai did his guitars in his private studio. We just send data around. I fix it at my place. At the moment Jürgen Liski from Hofa studio is mastering…" Kiske says: "Kosta was the first one who say how happy was about the material was there.... As soon as I've heard the raw version of the songs I was happy... 90% was written by him (Dennis)... the melodies are there.. all you need for a song is a verse, bridge and chorus if that works the rest is just a little work..." Dennis: "... the rehearsal room is crucial..."
Unisonic Light Of Dawn 'song by song'
01. 'Venite 2.0': Dennis Ward to Burrn magazine: "Gunther Werno came up with the idea, taking out guitar solo melodies and chorus melodies from this album and put them together into an orchestra-like introduction of a movie theme song."
02. 'Your Time Has Come': Dennis Ward to Burrn magazine: "It was written for the 1st album, but it wasn’t completed and had a different chorus idea. Kai added a twist to the chorus. The choir was my idea but the beginning of the song came from Kai. With combining both of our ideas, it became a good chorus." Michael Kiske to Burrn: "When I tried this song for the first time, I was so close to call and tell them that they are out losing their mind…. It’s been a long time since I sang so high. Well, I have done the similar, but not for that duration. Wasn't it high D? I am 46, not 18 anymore. So I had to switch myself into a different mode and tried the skill for it, then I became able to enjoy it. Also, I noticed that the key drops at the last chorus. Now, I really like this song." Mandy Meyer to Burrn: "It's fast and has a wonderful hook line. Dennis came up with this great riff and a middle part. As it was so fast and progressive, I wanted a guitar solo which suits for it, and I thought of twin guitar harmony. Because songs written long time ago (e.g. Helloween) were like that and I wanted a similar style. It kicks ass after the intro, doesn't it? It's jaw dropping."
03. 'Exceptional': Michael Kiske said to Rafabasa magazine: "Exceptional is very rhythmn oriented, very groovy right? We're going to write a videoclip for that one so it will be the single or whatever they call now (laughs)." Michael Kiske to Burrn magazine: "I like this song with the contrast; low-tone verse and high-tone chorus. This song has nothing to do with 'Turbo Lover' by Judas Priest, but I think the groove is similar. So, this is like our tribute to 'Turbo Lover'."
04. 'For The Kingdom': Since they always say all songs are written and performed by Unisonic. In Spanish radio show Radio 3 Kiske reveals that this song was written by Dennis Ward, despite that many think it was written by Kai. And on Cadillac Solitario radio program Kiske remember that Weikath wrote 'How Many Tears' as a ballad and at the end it was speed metal, something similar happened with 'For The Kingdom', Kosta suggested to play the track faster than the original demo.
05. 'Not Gonna Take It': Dennis Ward to Burrn magazine: "I came up with the idea during the 1st album, but didn't go further because we had enough material. But I always wanted to write a song starting with a vocal harmony and a big fat choir. I tried it at Star Rider but it didn’t work out. The middle part came out so naturally that I have no idea how it was made. The message in this song is "Don't let others dictate your life. Do what you want to do, because your life is yours." I am very satisfied with the outcome." Michael Kiske to Burrn: "I felt very comfortable singing this song as the verse is middle range. I like singing this part, "While looking down into the great divide"."
06. 'Night Of The Long Knives': according Michael Kiske: "... It's progressive with a little of Queensryche-vibe." Dennis Ward said in the Radio 3: "I had watched something in youtube a documentary about Hitlers purge against his advocates they were trying to stop him they were on his side basically and he had a process called Night of the Long Knives where he eliminated his enemies on his side."
07. 'Find Shelter': Dennis Ward to Burrn magazine: "Based on Mandy’s idea, I came up with the melody and lyrics. It has a great riff by Mandy – it is old school and very crunchy. Kosta wanted to speed up the drum. We let him speed up the kick drum, but kept the snare drum as it is. Such ideas came from the rehearsal room. Kai suggested going slow on the 1st verse, and doubling the speed on the 2nd verse. I would have never thought of such thing, but it seems natural to Kai for his roots. Everyone made valuable contributions to this song."
08. 'Blood': On Radio program Cadillac Solitario Michael talks about the song 'Blood', first he talks about composing fast songs:”It just happens when you have a good melody….Like 'Blood' for instance, it used to be faster, not like ‘you come undone’, but it didn’t really kick. Then we paced it down more like a ballad and then it worked. The song kind of asked for it, for the speed.” Michael commented a bit later in the same interview: ”The song I’m responsible for music and lyric wise is ‘Blood’. That one is about love is not necessarily connected to the blood anymore. You have a lot of family falling apart, I don’t know if it’s the same here in Spain, the blood bond is probably more tight here like in Italy. In the northern areas love has to have a kind of spiritual base to work . The blood gets weaker, you can see that. You really need to see the soul of that person, there is a kind of new brotherhood coming up. It is completely independent from races or blood. You can understand every human being when you have a certain spiritual level. You have mothers that don’t even love their children anymore. It’s not easy, we need to build a spiritual bond among each other. You need a fundament for love, blood is not enough anymore. That’s what the song is about.”
09. 'When The Deed Is Done': Dennis Ward to Burrn magazine: "Originally titled as 'Friend of Mine'. I like documentary, and I was watching a documentary about an executioner when writing a lyric. I wondered how it is like to be an executioner… and his mentality. This song is based on such ideas."
10. 'Throne Of The Dawn': Dennis Ward in Radio 3 interview : " ..a song called "Thrown of the Dawn' they had do with a, well I was just stumbled upon something, reading a book about, well I didn't know that was Lucifer and Jesus were both referred to a different parts on the Bible as the morning star... and then I wrote a theoretical story as to who would be the winner of the throne for the morning star." Dennis Ward to Burrn magazine: "Other than a simple riff and a few ideas, there wasn’t much at the beginning. When we were jamming the intro, Kai started to play very slowly without distorting the sound, like Black Sabbath, just for fun. Kosta, Mandy and I joined Kai on his riff and started playing very slowly. It was cool, and we decided to keep it. This is definitely a guitar song and has an interesting solo part, playing the chorus theme with 3 different keys."
11. 'Manhunter': Michael Kiske to Burrn magazine: "Basic idea came from Sandro Giampietro, and I wrote the melody and lyrics. The lyrics are about a woman that I know who is chasing a strong and energetic man. She wants to make a collection of singers. This is based on an experience."
12. 'You And I': Dennis Ward to Burrn magazine: "This is the only song that I brought in as a complete song. I made a demo and everyone liked it." Michael Kiske to Burrn magazine: "Denis’s vocals on the demo were like Bon Jovi or American style. My version is more straight forward and more Rob Halford."
14. 'Dare': According Kiske the song 'Dare' (previously titled 'Demon') sounds a bit like Green Day, according Juanma (El Vuelo del Fenix) is happy metal.
Musicians about 'Light Of Dawn'
Michael Kiske commented to Rafabasa.com: "Dennis Ward wrote most of the songs. There are even some tracks that people could think are from Kai Hansen but they are not, they are from Dennis. I was under so much pressure because I thought I had to do more. Kai is so busy with Gamma Ray, so who knows when he will come up with songs, but suddenly Dennis comes up with one great song after the next. It’s amazing. I wasn’t expecting this. He had sent me at least eight or nine tracks – great vocal lines and melodies – it really excites me."
Mandy Meyer: "Each of us adds ideas for Melodies, solo parts, middle parts, intros, outros, etc.. After the first pre-production session, which has initially taken place in January, we can say that Unisonic was very creative and efficient. We worked at 7 new songs in Kofastudio in Karlsdorf. At the end of January the second Pre-production session starts, where we will work on another 7-10 songs. We should not have a problem to do this. We have Dennis (Fast as Lightning) Ward on board. He he..."
Unisonic Light Of Dawn press ratings
|Webzine - Radio - Magazine||Rating 0/10|
|Rock It! Magazine||9|
|Metal Brakers blog||8,9|
|Queen of Steel||8,5|
|Time For Metal||8,1|
Curiosities about Unisonic Light Of Dawn
- Album could be titled "Light Of The Dawn"
Michael Kiske and Dennis Ward said in their interview with Mariskalrock Radio that the album was going to be titled "Light Of The Dawn" but it was to long so they reduced to "Light Of Dawn".
- Which songs changed the title?
The EP main track 'For The Kingdom' was going to be titled 'For The Future' but they changed in "the last minute". The Japanese bonus track 'Dare' was initially titled 'Demon'. And 'Not Gonna Take Anymore' was initially titled 'Not Gonna Take It'. And 'When The Deed Is Done' was originally titled as 'Friend Of Mine'.
- There is a lost Unisonic song which finished on Gamma Ray's album
The song 'Built A World', included on Gamma Ray's Empire of Undead (as European bonus track) was composed by Mandy Meyer with a friend: Andy Portmann. The song is credited in the booklet as written by Andy Portmann and Kai Hansen, Mandy is not mentioned there. But Kai Hansen commented during Unisonic debut album promotion: "... there's one song which we did not finish because it was a bit too different and we had no place in this album. The song was not finished; it was an idea or demo of Mandy Meyer who did it with a friend. I really liked that song because it had a different touch, so I added a few vocals, but for time reasons we left it. I think it would fit better in Gamma Ray than in Unisonic."