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Unicorn After Before album cover
2.51 | 3 ratings | 2 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 1992

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Liquefy
2. Suddenly
3. The Likes of Noone
4. When the World came Watching
5. After Before

Line-up / Musicians

Dan Swanö - Lead Vocals ,Drums
Peter Edwinzon - Keyboards, Bass, Vocals
Anders Mareby - Guitars, Vocals

Releases information

Demo, Self Released 1992

Thanks to J-Man for the addition
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UNICORN After Before ratings distribution

(3 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(0%)
Good, but non-essential (67%)
Collectors/fans only (33%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

UNICORN After Before reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by J-Man
2 stars The Weakest Unicorn Release

For those of you who read my reviews and/or know me well for the forums, you would probably know that I have a bit of a soft spot for the music of Swedish neo-prog band Unicorn. I always love their heartfelt and sincere compositions, and even though their releases always have a fair share of flaws, I consider myself a fan of this product of Dan Swanö, Peter Edwinzon, and Anders Mareby. On their fourth, and final, demo - 1992's After Before - I am pretty disappointed, however. This is the weakest Unicorn release for various reasons that are exclusive to this demo only.

First of all, After Before contains material that would all be soon released on full-length Unicorn albums. This will probably significantly lower the appeal of this demo to most people, especially considering that the album versions of these five tracks are significantly better than these demos. There are a few cases with Unicorn's music where I actually prefer the demo to the album release, but that isn't the case with any of the songs on After Before. Many of them sound underdeveloped and have rather flawed arrangements, both of which were improved on the final versions. For that reason alone, After Before can really only be regarded as a collector's item. It's a pretty good collector's item at that, but it is nonetheless completely non-essential.

Another major issue with this demo is Dan's vocals. I would say that they sound rather weak on this demo, which is odd since he usually has a fantastic voice. It often sounds strained and out of his normal range. This is another problem that was mostly fixed on the album versions. His voice on the previous three demos (The Weirdest of Tales in particularly) is far superior to this demo.

As I mentioned, I have a bit of a problem with Dan Swanö's voice on this demo, but the musicianship is otherwise pretty good. Dan's drumming sounds much tighter, precise, and professional on this demo, which is of course a good thing. Anders Mareby isn't given as many killer solos on this demo (if you want to hear him do some fantastic solos, get The Weirdest of Tales). He still does a great job, as usual, but I don't think that this is quite his best. The same goes with Peter Edwinzon. He does a really great job, but I think that he has done better on previous demos and future albums. I also miss some of the keyboard tones on the earlier demos. I know that they can sound cheesy at times, but it gave Unicorn some of their charm in my opinion.

The production is largely an improvement over the previous demos. It sounds more professional to these ears. I actually prefer the productions of the early demos, though. Even though most audiophiles won't be able to tolerate the amateurish mixing of their first three demos, I personally think it gave Unicorn some of their appeal.

After Before consists of five tracks, which adds up to almost a half-hour in length. As I've mentioned earlier, all five of these tracks can be found on Unicorn's future albums, which I highly recommend hearing. My favorite tracks are When The World Came Watching and After Before. None of the other tracks are bad, though some of them are a bit hit-and-miss. Especially the opening track, Liquefy. It has some really fantastic moments, but it has a few poor transitions that really lower my overall enjoyment of the song.


After Before is the weakest Unicorn demo by far, and I can't give it more than 2 stars. This is really only for Unicorn fans (like myself), and even then you're not guaranteed to be impressed. Despite my complaining, After Before still isn't a terrible demo. I've heard so many disastrous demos from various bands, and this one is quite good by comparison. If you're a fan of Unicorn, this is worth getting. After all, it's available for free.

2 stars.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars While ''The weirdest of tales'' became a sell-out, Unicorn were put on ice, as Anders Mareby moved to another city and Per Runesson was going to fulfill his military service.After months of inactivity they came back together, but this time without Per, who was dedicated to other commitments.Bass duties were handed to Peter Edwinzon and for the first time Unicorn operated as a trio, recording and releasing their fourth cassette ''After before'' in 1992.

Anyone having listened to Unicorn's first few cassettes will define a certain turn in the sound of the band.Like a musical Benjamin Button they appear to go back in time and, instead becoming heavier and more modern with each release, ''After before'' resembles more than ever to 80's Neo Prog, as performed by the British bands of the time.Do not expect a work of mellow sounds, it's just that Unicorn sound a bit more melodic and less rhythmic on this effort, somewhat losing part of their identity.Acts like JADIS, THIRD QUADRANT and COLTSFOOT are the most appropriate comparisons, Unicorn proposed a highly atmospheric Progressive Rock with a certain lyricism and occasional synth blows over the melodic and slightly distorted guitars.I am a bit dissapointed, seeing them a bit confused on whether to move on or get a bit closer to the retro prog stylings (one track even features some organ parts!), but the material is very good and satisfying with the trademark vocals of Swano and the music being always competent and interesting.The 7-min. long title-track with its half-MARILLION, half-PINK FLOYD influences and the ''The likes of noone'' with its great keyboard sounds is the pair of tracks shining through.

Yet another undergroung goodie by Unicorn.Their most 80's-styled work of all their cassette albums/demos, will be an instant favorite for all those in love with this particular period of Prog music.Recommended.

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