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Unitopia - The Garden CD (album) cover

THE GARDEN

Unitopia

 

Crossover Prog

3.55 | 153 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
3 stars My first prog album from the Southern hemisphere. Australia has never seemed very good rock country to me in general (that is, those few bands/artists I know are the kind of rock/pop I don't enjoy), but it's probably just coincidental since they are so few. UNITOPIA is a prog band that actually could come from whatever country, I didn't hear any Australian taste - if such thing exists. In a blindfold test I'd guess they're American.

My first impression of this double disc was, in short, "nothing very special". The first CD is better, the second one (I accidentally played that first) falls more in the all too typical category of modern prog that favours moments of attacking guitar sound even in the otherwise calmer tracks. There are long epics (over 20 minutes) which have nice moments but don't raise above the majority of contemporary prog. Their compositions are not very unique, impressive or clever. They mix various influences from metal, classical and world music but in the end the final result is something you've heard dozens of times. Their songwriting level is not ready for a double album with epics and all. The very first possible thought of this being a fantastic album is little by little fading away during the listening and is perhaps turned into frustration (had I listened the Disc One first, this would have been my case more clearly).

Maybe I sound too harsh. Their playing is tight and many songs are quite good after all. Not unforgettable but enjoyable. A pity that they have a female bass player (and a very good one!) but she doesn't sing. Vocals are not bad but quite common. There could have been more instrumentals with keyboards taking the leading role (there are a couple short ones). The guitar style is not the best possible for a prog band, as far as my taste is concerned. 2,5 stars.

Matti | 3/5 |

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