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SPOTS

Unified Past

Progressive Metal


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Unified Past Spots album cover
3.49 | 3 ratings | 2 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Blank (5:17)
2. Deep (5:42)
3. Hot (instrumental) (4:44)
4. Seeing (3:49)
5. Tough (instrumental) (8:18)
6. Age (6:26)
7. Sun (instrumental) (3:48)
8. Big (instrumental) (6:35)
9. Wet (instrumental) (5:07)
10. G (instrumental) (1:21)
11. The Final (8:26)

Total Time 59:33

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Steve Speelman / bass, keyboards, guitars and vocals
- Victor Tassone / drums, percussion, effects and backing vocals
- Dave Mickelson / bass


Releases information

Melodic Revolution Records, June 11, 2013

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to aapatsos for the last updates
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ObservationsObservations
Original recording
CD Baby 2011
Audio CD$11.47
$20.47 (used)
SpotsSpots
Original recording
CD Baby 2013
Audio CD$11.98
$10.78 (used)
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UNIFIED PAST Spots ratings distribution


3.49
(3 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
0%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
33%
Good, but non-essential (67%)
67%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

UNIFIED PAST Spots reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team
3 stars Unified Past is an American group that's been recording since early 90's (first as Labyrinth) and Spots (2013) is their 6th studio album. The band is formed by the trio Stephen Speelman (vocals, guitars and keyboards), Victor Fassone (drums and percussion) and Dave Mickelson (bass). On Spots (2013) the band also worked with Karl Matzka playing keyboards on two tracks.

Released by Melodic Revolution Records early this year with a weird artwork by Ed Unitsky. Spots (2013) is focused on heavy themes, mainly because of Stephen's guitars.

First track 'Blank' shows us an interesting mix of Prog Metal with a catchy melody. But I have to admit that Stephen's vocals bothered me a bit. They sound too robotic, with too many effects on them. Second track 'Deep' reminds me of Glam Rock of late 80's and early 90's but with a Prog twist. 'Hot' is a weird instrumental track where you can literally listen ALL kinds of music in one single song. Looks a bit of a show off though.

Unified Past's sound can't be really pointed only as Progressive Metal, however, they have a lot of it in their music. Fourth track 'Seeing' exemplifies that. Plenty of Prog, plenty of Metal and plenty of Glam Hard Rock. The follow up is the second instrumental track on the album, 'Tough'. On this track we have mid-tempo beats and plenty of guitars. At some point it makes you think of Metallica's music (circa Black Album era). And that pretty much sums up many things about Unified Past's sound on Spots (2013) so far: they're trapped somewhere between 1989 and 1991!

The next track 'Age' doesn't change the 'trapped in time' impression, but we have some really nice synths by Karl Matzka here. But by the time of 'Sun' I was a bit tired of the album. I must confess that the sound of Spots (2013) is not my favorite, too much reverb, compression and effects on everything.

The album goes on and we have 'Big'. This track has a nice intro with good ideas and it's a more 'classic Prog' track. Both two following tracks 'Wet' and 'G' have very heavy bass lines and the last song, properly called 'The Final' is their best track on the album. It's more melodic, more Prog and with less effects.

Spots (2013) is a good effort and it has some nice compositions but for me it's an album trapped in time in terms of sound. The production makes every instrument sound dated, as if they were in 1991. Too much reverb, too much compression, too many effects on everything recorded, from vocals to drums. To complete, sometimes the mixing is a bit of a mess too and there are sounds all over the place not in a good way.

If you have never heard about Unified Past and you got Spots (2013) to listen to, you really could think this was an album released in early 90's, not in 2013. So I can say that if this is your favorite period in music, this is your album. But if it's not, it'll be hard to please your ears.

(Originally posted on progshine.net)

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Send comments to ProgShine (BETA) | Report this review (#1073683) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, November 07, 2013

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars US band UNIFIED PAST, at first known as Labyrinth, has been around in one shape or another for some 20 odd years by now. As Unified Past they made their debut as recording artists in 1999, but then a 10 year long pause followed before they resurfaced with their second production in 2009. The band appears to have entered a two year cycle of releasing albums since then. Following "Observations" from 2011, "Spots" from 2013 is their fourth and most recent studio effort, and was released through the US label Melodic Revolution Records.

The band's fourth studio album "Spots" is a production that should see the band establishing a reach towards a fairly broad sized audience. Their blend of classic hard rock and progressive rock into what I'd describe as a pomp rock sound is often an interesting one, and fairly appealing at that. An album worth investigating by progressive rock fans with a taste for classic hard rock just as much as by those with an affection for classic hard rock who also enjoy occasional forays into progressive rock territories.

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Send comments to Windhawk (BETA) | Report this review (#1074945) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, November 10, 2013

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