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Unified Past - Shifting the Equilibrium CD (album) cover


Unified Past


Progressive Metal

3.89 | 46 ratings

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4 stars STYLE Powerful progressive rock. Shifting The Equilibrium is a sharp, tight album of gutsy tracks delivered with bright, dynamism and impressive technical mastery. At their best on the longest of tracks when the band break most strikingly into the arrangements with structural variations and acoustic interludes; Unified Past combine heavy riffs, symphonic synths and a huge, confident, driving rhythm section. Although there are solo sections, the band for the most part plays as an intertwined whole: fast guitar licks, deft keyboard fingerwork and heaving bass layering into a dense, vibrant tapestry. There is one instrumental - Deviation From A Theme (Of Harmonic Origin) - among the songs, an evolving piece of appealing character where the guitar work really shines. Otherwise Phil Naro's sinewy vocals cut distinctively through the mix despite the intensity of the instrumentation: commanding and vital; energetic and certain. Time signatures and rhythms shift so effortlessly that it's easy to miss just how much is going in with some of the pieces here, drawing on the whole range of the progressive genre from its inception nearly fifty years back. There is a clear sense of musical quality to Shifting The Equilibrium that rewards headphone listening and full attention. ARTWORK A glossy digipack holds Shifting The Equilibrium; alive with complex detail and colourful imagery. A muscle-map figure kneels on the front cover astride a skull carving surrounded by a dizzying tangle of synthetic/organic interconnections. Opening out into three sections, the rear cover presents track titles beneath the gaze of a dusky monochrome close-up of the cover figure. A band portrait fills the third outer panel and a broad fiery panorama extend across the inside spread. Brief credits are here as well as website details and contact information. Pleasingly, a twelve-page booklet is tucked into one end of the sleeve packed with lyrics, individual portraits and generous thanks. OVERALL Unified Past deliver Shifting the Equilibrium as their seventh release, having been around in different guises since the early nineties. As with the last couple of albums, the band work here with Melodic Revolution Records, but the addition of Phil Naro appears to have opened some interesting new sonic vistas for guitarist/keyboardist Stephen Speelman, bassist Dave Mickelson and drummer Victor Tassone. The six recordings are all mid-length, from around eight minutes to around twelve allowing the quartet plenty of room for manoeuvre and experimentation. You can sample the album via the MMR Bandcamp page for the release or you might want to view some of the videos found on the official Unified Past website where you can also find links to follow relevant news outlets.
MorpheusMusic1 | 4/5 |


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