When haunting songs at the interface between hard rock and melodic metal meet with the excellent musical skills and extensive experience of all musicians involved, the result is bound to be brilliant. UNITY are a prime example of this, all musical parameters pointing to an outstanding act with a promising future. After all, UNITY is the new group founded by Gamma Ray members Michael Ehré (drums) and Henjo Richter (guitar). Richter has been part of the Hamburg power metal outfit for some twenty years, while Ehré’s CV includes – prior to his joining the Gamma Ray fold in 2012 – renowned names such as Firewind, Uli Jon Roth and Unisonic, to name but a few. UNITY have spent almost 18 months working flat out on their first album, scheduled for release on Steamhammer/SPV in spring 2017. You don’t have to be a clairvoyant to predict a bright future for this band.
The initial inspiration for UNITY is impossible to pin down to a definite date but was apparently an extended and increasingly tangible process. “During many gigs and countless hours in the rehearsal room, Michael and I discovered that we are on the same wavelength, on a personal as well as on a musical level. So we came up with the idea of focusing that part of our creativity that goes beyond Gamma Ray in another band,” Richter explains. Michael Ehré adds: “Our artistic ideas are on the one hand so similar that we arrive at a common denominator most of the time and on the other hand they’re different enough to ensure a diverse album that doesn’t sound boring for a second. Particularly as this band consists of six first-rate songwriters.”
The UNITYs debut was produced by the musicians themselves, mostly at Ehré’s own B Castle Studio and released in 2017, followed by three albums: RISE (2018), PRIDE (2020) and THE DEVIL YOU KNOW – LIVE (2021).
In September 2022 The Unity announced Tobias “Eggi” Exxel (Edguy) as a new member, replacing Jogi Sweers on bass. “I’m really happy to be part of one of the musically strongest and in a live context most thrilling European metal bands,” explains Exxel, who represents, along with Richter, Ehré, singer Gianba Manenti, guitarist Stef E and keyboardist Sascha Onnen, an awesome metal six-pack.
That Tobias Exxel fits into the band structure perfectly was more than obvious at The Unity concerts as special guests during the Rhapsody Of Fire tour and currently at a sensational show at the ‘Rock Castle’ festival in the Czech Republic. “After some fantastic shows, where Eggi helped us out at short notice, this is the result of a natural development,” everyone involved agrees. “Everything just gelled from the first second! Together with Eggi, our fans can be sure that we’ve got lots of surprises up our sleeve.”