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A COLLECTION OF WORLDS, PART II

Unicorn

 

Neo-Prog

3.50 | 2 ratings

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J-Man
Prog Reviewer
3 stars A Great Follow-Up to a Promising Debut

The second demo from Unicorn called A Collection of Worlds, Part II is a successful follow-up to their promising debut A Collection of Worlds, Part I. This demo shows a slightly more mature band, but it wasn't until The Weirdest of Tales that Unicorn sounded like a fully grown band. Yet something about Unicorn's first two demos has always charmed me.

The musical style that is played here is very similar to their first demo. Melodic neo-prog in the vein of Marillion. I wouldn't call this demo (or anything Unicorn has ever done) particularly innovative, but their music is entertaining, heartfelt and sincere, so I quite enjoy it. A Collection of Worlds, Part II is probably my least favorite Unicorn demo, though. This one just isn't quite as consistent as the others. This is still a great demo anyway, especially considering that it's legally available for free on a blog (from Dan Swanö). If you're a fan of neo-prog, Unicorn's demos (and albums) have a certain charm that can't be found too often.

As I mentioned in my review of A Collection of Worlds, Part I, the musicianship is pretty great. They never have any show-off solos, but they really show their chops. Peter Edwinzon is really the highlight of Unicorn for me. His keyboard playing is just beautiful, and I think his melodic style fits this type of neo-prog perfectly. Anders Mareby is also a pretty great guitarist, but this demo is mostly focused on keyboards. If you want to hear Anders have some really great moments, get The Weirdest of Tales and Ever Since. Dan Swanö also does a great job. His compositions are unbeatable, and his voice is pretty good here. For some reason his voice sounds better on this demo than it does on the previous one. The bass playing from Per Runesson (I believe he played bass on this demo, but I could be wrong) is pretty average. He doesn't really do anything great on this demo, but it could partially be because the bass is rather inaudible. The production quality of this demo isn't really terrible, but it's substantially below average.

A Collection of Worlds, Part II is rather long for a demo. This clocks in at almost 40 minutes, so it can easily be called an album (even if it's not officially one). This consists of 9 tracks, though the outro isn't really a song of any sort. This demo is filled with quality moments, even if some of the melodies are forgettable.

My favorite track from A Collection of Worlds, Part II is probably the opener, The Czarina of Vermillion. I actually prefer the version on this demo to the version on the album Ever Since. The liberal use of flute really adds a nice touch to that song. Times of Change is another great song that also made their debut album. In this case, however, I prefer the more polished version on the album. The short, yet complex Yellow and Greg is another favorite of mine. Peter Edwinzon does a great job on this song. Visage and The Dumb are the two longest tracks, and also some of my favorites. Tears of Joy is a nice closing song as well.

Conclusion:

A Collection of Worlds, Part II is another solid demo from Unicorn. Despite the fact that this is not my favorite Unicorn demo, it still deserves a 3 star rating. It's not the biggest 3 in the world, but I can't give this any less. Despite its various flaws in production and a few weak melodies, this is still a great demo. I know I've said it many times, but something about this band has always charmed me. This is really sincere music, I really respect the emotion behind their demos and albums. Dan Swanö has created better music in his career, but I find Unicorn to have his most heartfelt compositions. This is highly recommendable to fans of neo-prog.

3 stars.

J-Man | 3/5 |

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