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Unicorn - A Collection of Worlds, Part I CD (album) cover





3.02 | 3 ratings

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3 stars What A Great First Demo!

The first demo from Swedish neo-prog band Unicorn is some of the earliest music Dan Swanö has ever participated in, and even at this young age he managed to create some great music! The heart of Unicorn was always Dan Swanö, Peter Edwinzon, and Anders Mareby. Their bass player on this demo (I believe it's Per Runesson), was soon replaced by Dan's brother Tom Nouga (except on the After Before demo, where Peter Edwinzon played bass).

The music played on A Collection of Worlds, Part I is neo-prog in the vein of Marillion. While Unicorn's music never did anything to push the boundaries of progressive rock, I always find something about their music to be rather charming. Heartfelt and sincere music always comes from their demos and albums, and I think that's why I can often excuse the flaws in their releases. The production quality of this demo is rather poor, Dan's voice wasn't really perfected yet, and some of the arrangements aren't fully matured, but somehow none of those things ever severely affect my listening experiences with this demo.

Part of the reasons why this demo is so enjoyable is the high-quality musicianship. Peter Edwinzon is one great keyboard player, and he really delivers the music powerfully and dynamically. His playing isn't as great as it was on future releases, but he still shows his chops on this debut demo. Anders Mareby is also a very talented guitarist. His melodic playing style fits the neo-prog genre perfectly (similarly to Steve Rothery). Of course Dan Swanö also does a fantastic job, mostly through his compositional talents. His voice is a little underdeveloped in some parts, but he gets the job done.

A Collection of Worlds, Part I consists of 7 tracks, but only 6 can only really be called songs. The final track is a short, 4 second outro. My favorite song on the demo is the beautiful Dreamland. The keyboards and melodies are just wonderfully crafted. Times of Change is another favorite of mine, but a better version can be found on their debut album. Fly Eagle Fly is a great way to end the demo before the short outro. Every song is memorable though, and I have a tough time finding flaws from the compositional aspect of this demo.


A Collection of Worlds, Part I is a really enjoyable, if flawed, debut demo from Unicorn. If you can look past the flaws in the production and arrangements of these pieces, you will find some really magical music. My rating will be 3 stars for this demo. After all, it can be found legally (from Dan Swanö) on a blog online for free, so there's no reason not to get it. I would suggest getting The Weirdest of Tales before this one, though. That's a really great demo. Still, this one comes recommended to any fan of quality neo-prog.

3 stars.

J-Man | 3/5 |


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