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UNIFAUN

Symphonic Prog • Sweden


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Unifaun biography
Nad Sylvan and Bonamici (aka Christian Thordin) accidently stumbled upon each other on the Genesis websiteīs forum in 2003. Bon had written an instrumental song, "Tribute to Genesis" and wanted some critics from Genesis board members. Nad certainly liked it, contacted Bon and suggested a collaboration. Since they both live in Sweden, they teamed up quite effortlessly. What they both seemed to have in common, besides a passionate love for progressive rock, was also their backgrounds; At the age of five, both Nad and Bon started to play the piano - only relying upon their ears as they are self-taught.

Bon musical journey wandered towards jazz, fusion, folk/world music and latterly progressive rock.
He studied and improvised music at Hubbard High School, Ohio, USA 1977-78 and played keyboards in various musical constellations in the US, Sweden and Norway during the 70īs and 80īs.

With a young family and racing two small kids during the 90īs as his primary, it wasnīt until the 00īs that time had come for a full-blown musical endeavour, composing in many different styles - but in general more in the tradition of world/folk music as well as piano driven jazz excursions.

Nad picked up on his singing ability in his early teens, just as he did with a few more instruments besides the piano. Writing/recording and performing his own songs as a solo artist and in various bands throughout the 70īs, 80īs and the 90īs has become a lifestyle.

He looks at his singing voice being more of that of an instrument that can be "tuned" and changed to fit the music, rather than the other way around, hence the associations with Collins/Gabriel. You listen to Nadīs solo work, and you will hear quite a different approach - yes, Nad is a chameleon!

After three solo albums from 1995-2003, where Nad played and sang everything himself - he longed for a long term musical relationship, and found the perfect partner in Bonamici.

Together with Nad, progressive rock have become the foundation of this duo - and in the old farm house, Bonīs studio has grown into a high tech facility, incorporating everything from advanced gear for creating motion pictures, to all kinds of vintage- as well as software instruments.

With this first offering with "UNIFAUN", the duo set out to do "the songs Genesis never did", initially as a very innocent flirt with their old heroes and basically just for fun and games - very much with a glint in the eye! <...
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3.00 | 49 ratings
Unifaun
2008

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UNIFAUN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Unifaun by UNIFAUN album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.00 | 49 ratings

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Unifaun
Unifaun Symphonic Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

3 stars I have controversial feelings about this album. Having been used to defend the early Marillion from the accuse of being a Genesis clone, mainly because I don't have anything against "clones", I'm a bit in trouble with this band which sounds exactly like a clone.

Let's forget the inspirers then, let's give up to any originality.....are the songs good or not?

Well, they surely sound better than anything on Abacab or We Can't Dance. I would have preferred a singer closer to the style of Gabriel instead of Collins but that's it. At least the songs are closer to the Genesis of the late 70s early 80s, not to the dull pop released by Collins in the 80s.

Some parts are effectively poppy, but they are functional enough to the songs and are not the most relevant element.

Good for hard Genesis fans. In my case I find it too melodic for my tastes, but some songs like "No Way Out" and "Mr. Marmalade"are good and well played (the second with vocals closer to Fish .

In the end, this is an album I can give a spin sometimes when I'm in the right mood, probably because I'm everything but a Genesis fan so I can listen to the song without feeling the need of making comparisons, but there's so many Genesis stuff around, including the solo albums of Hackett, Phillips and even Rutherford's Smallcreep's Day that I don't think anybody will feel the need of getting this one.

Of course if hard Genesis fans are looking for something "new" from their beloved bands this album can satisfy the desire of Genesis. I did the same with Bellaphon as Camel's clone.

A collectors item then, but very close to be good, that's why I'm undecided between two and three stars. Well those guys play well and if their target was sounding like Genesis, like it or not, they have achieved it.

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 Unifaun by UNIFAUN album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.00 | 49 ratings

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Unifaun
Unifaun Symphonic Prog

Review by Hogweed Returns

4 stars As a true Genesis fan I was very interested in this band of only two members. To copy the music of Genesis is like walking on a thin line ..., only for capable bands. I've listened the album in my car a few times and I must say that I'm beginning to like the album. (I always listen progmusic in my car, because no one bothers me and I can pay full attention to the music) The music reminds me of the Genesis period between 1973-1978. Sometimes Nad sounds like Gabriel, a moment later it's Collins. The instrumental passages are brought very nice in Genesis style. In the songs you hear Selling England (Marmaduke), The Lamb (Rehacksis and Quest for the Last Virtue which flows smooth in an Entangled sound from Trick Of The Tail, for me the best song of the album. The rest is filled with nice instrumentals like Finistere, Bon Apart (only piano) and End-or-fin (like endorphine...morphine?). I don't fall asleep listening to this CD and a nice effort by the boys although it's sometimes a bit overdone. For me it's the best 'clone' Genesis band, as The Musical Box is the best 'cover' Genesis band. My 3 stars has become a 4 stars rating.

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 Unifaun by UNIFAUN album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.00 | 49 ratings

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Unifaun
Unifaun Symphonic Prog

Review by boe_a

4 stars Yikes! I was bothered by reviews of this album by other commenters, so I decided to check it out. They, of course are completely misguided for slamming this album. It is great! Do not listen to it if you don't like middle period Genesis, but for those of us who do, it is truly awesome! Sometimes it is reminiscent of early Genesis, but it is more like a cross between "...And then there were three", and "Duke", without the crap tunes. Good stuff, and worth every one of the 4 stars I gave it! PS- I am also blown away by Nad Sylvan's multi-instrumental capabilities. I am jealous!

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 Unifaun by UNIFAUN album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.00 | 49 ratings

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Unifaun
Unifaun Symphonic Prog

Review by yanch

1 stars Can you tell me why this music's poor? Yes I can.

Sweden's Unifaun have tried to produce a Genesis album rather than their own album! Many, many prog bands through the years have been influenced by Gabriel era and early Collins era Genesis, but most of them-IQ, Marillion, Mr. SO & SO-as examples, found their own voices and wrote great music that has elements and characteristics of Genesis, but are unique to each of them.

Unifaun has produced an album where they have blatantly tried to sound like Genesis. Their website and Myspace page even admit that they are trying to be a continuation of Genesis from the 1972-1980 period. The call themselves a "Genesis Soundscape" band. Unfortunately, they fail badly. They tried so hard to produce, as their Myspace says, "a labour of love to their beloved heroes," that instead we get a cd of boring, uninteresting, and tedious music. Nad Sylvan and Bonamici are clearly talented musicians, but by focusing so hard on sounding like Genesis, rather than being inspired and influenced by them, the music lacks originality and hence is not very interesting.

If you are a fan of Gabriel and early Collins era Genesis, you will find much more interesting and satisfying music from other bands, some are mentioned above.

Not recommended.

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 Unifaun by UNIFAUN album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.00 | 49 ratings

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Unifaun
Unifaun Symphonic Prog

Review by Thierry

3 stars Ŧ "Can you tell me where my country lies?" said the unifaun to his true love's eyes ŧ (Genesis ? "Selling England by the Pound") An Unifaun is a word and a creature made by Peter Gabriel, a contraction of uniform (or unicorn?) and faun in fact. A faun? A faun is half a goat and half a man. Unifaun is a Scandinavian duo too composed of Nad Sylvan (vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass, drums and percussions) and Bonamici (keyboards and arrangements). Take a trip now back to 2003 : Nad, a Genesis die hard fan, attends a concert by The Musical Box (The "Selling England by the Pound" tour precisely) at the London Royal Albert Hall. He really enjoys it (as I did in Paris at the same time). A week later, he discovers that a man called Bonamici wrote on the Genesis forum he composed an instrumental track called 'Tribute to Genesis'. Nad meets him. Together, they add guitar and vocals to the song and call that tune 'Maudlin Matter'. Nad exhumes a track called 'Marmaduke' he wrote in 1979 then and on we go for an album! My favourite song of this album is 'Quest for the Last Virtue', definitely. This is the most ambitious epic (pleonasm!-Ed), with gorgeous echoes of 'Entangled''s finale. 'Marmaduke' is nice by its labyrinthine structure (perhaps too labyrinthine?) in a typical "Selling England" mood with Fish-like vocals though. Yes, the vocals balance between Gabriel, Collins, Fish, sometimes even Cat Stevens or Dave Cousins (The Strawbs). The compositions and arrangements clearly show their influences yet: Genesis, the progressive era. Does this mean this album is a must have? For Genesis lovers, certainly. They'll have the feeling of discovering lost tapes by the great British band. Some prog heads will be irritated by a too close tribute yet. Tribute or clichés? Clone or clown? Being a Genesis fan, I enjoyed this record a lot but less than Neuschwanstein's. Why? Well because writing doesn't make you a writer. You have to be a gifted musician to be a true composer. That's why Genesis convinced: the quality of their melodies (and arrangements). And of course their originality. You'll find no real innovation here, and assumed influences. Great arrangements and production, yes. But some melodies aren't really convincing. In a nutshell, it's good music for nostalgic fans only. And I admit I am.

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 Unifaun by UNIFAUN album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.00 | 49 ratings

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Unifaun
Unifaun Symphonic Prog

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars It Lies with Me! cry The Unifaun ...

I had very limited information before I got the CD of Unifaun. But for sure, my prog head friends kept telling me about this band from Sweden who creates Genesis vein music. So, my expectation was quite high and I was so curious about "how the music sounds like?". Yeah, finally I got it last week and as my curiosity reached its peak, I spun the CD right after I was totally satisfied with Nick d'Virdgilio's Rewiring Genesis CD. I thought that it would be a great pleasure after listening to Rewiring I would turn my ears into this debut album by Unifaun. As the name implies to "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight" lyrical verse of Gabriel era Genesis, my adrenalin prepared itself to explode and get ready after total satisfaction of Rewiring Genesis.

Then what happened?

I was totally disappointed! Oh man .. how come people talk about this band as good Genesis-like band? Well yeah, they try to be something like Genesis on the way the singer sings that it turns out to be like Phil Collins instead of Gabriel! (there are some segments that replicate Gabriel singing, like in "Swingers Party"). Why they use the name Unifaun? Why not "Abacab", "Mama", or "Who Dunnit?" ? Do they make the name to create marketing gimmick that this is a Gabriel era Genesis like music? I felt I wasted my time when I spun the CD at first time. Don't get me wrong, I do not intend to say all Phil Collins era of Genesis are lousy. Look at "And Then There Were Three", "Duke", "A Trick of The Tail", "Wind and Wuthering" - they are all excellent albums. And what is this? I'd rather have a band with their own identity, not "want to be something like" other legendary bands than what Unifaun has done with this debut album. Other band which has followed Genesis vein have done excellent job in creating good to excellent music, like Citizen Cain, The Watch. If you really want Gabriel era Genesis, try Citizen Cain "Somewhere But Yesterday" album or The Watch "Vacuum" or "Primitive" album - they are all good albums.

The music offered by this album, I fully agree with Ivan, is a POP music with keyboard-drenched component. The music has no accentuation at all. The music flows in ambient style and with minimum high and low notes that create accentuation, and it's so boring. In fact when I listen to the music, I tend to think: "When is it going to end?". And, because this is a two-piece band (for budget reason?), the music sounds so empty and too industrial.

Overall, I do not recommend you to purchase this album (I am honest with you) as it is too far from the expectation to become a Genesis vein music. If you really curious, just try their music from any radio streaming. The final call is yours. By the time I write this view, I remember when there was Germany's band Kingdom Come followed the music style of Led Zeppelin. But, Kingdom Come did an excellent job. The debut album was totally excellent and I was so satisfied with songs like "17", "Mean Dirty Joe", "Stargazer" etc. Keep on proggin' ..!!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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 Unifaun by UNIFAUN album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.00 | 49 ratings

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Unifaun
Unifaun Symphonic Prog

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Unifaunīs debut album is a strange size. The two man band Unifaun are passionate fans of seventies Genesis for sure because this is the closest Iīve ever heard anyone come to the originals. Iīm a bit biased if I think this is a great thing or not and itīs a bit hard to review this album on itīs own merits when you are constantly reminded of the originals.

Unifaunīs music is inspired by Genesis 1973-1978 era which means that there are both traces of Peter Gabriel era Genesis but certainly also early Phil Collins era Genesis. Singer Nad Sylvan ( who also handles almost everything else on the album) sometimes sound like Peter Gabriel and sometimes like Phil Collins. I also hear Fish a couple of times but bottom line is that he sounds very much like the originals. The instrumentation has all the characteristics of 1973-1978 era Genesis. Beautiful symphonic keyboards, melodic guitars ( both acoustic and electric) and a tight rythm section ( both drums and bass are played by Nad Sylvan).

The compositions are mostly memorable and mildly challenging but some songs do lean a bit too much on the commercial side of Genesis which I never found appealing. Welcome to the Farm is a good example of that while songs like Mr. Marmaduke and the Minister and the epic Quest for the Last Virtue are more progressive and interesting for me. The instrumental Rehacksis also needs to be mentioned with itīs ( as the title suggests) very Steve Hackett like guitar leads. Itīs almost as if itīs a forgotten Genesis instrumental from the seventies.

The musicianship is excellent. Both musicians are very good. Imitating your idols like they do on this album isnīt as easy as some might believe. They are very skilled composers and musicians.

The production is delightful. Soft and pleasant. A lot of the Genesis imitators that appeared in the eighties really had trouble creating a sound like Genesis had in the seventies but with the studio technics of today Unifaun has succeeded in doing just that.

How much you enjoy this album is very much depending on if you can look past the fact that Unifaun is a clone band to the bone and just enjoy the music without being too distracted or annoyed by this fact. As I said Iīm a bit biased as some of the most important things in music IMO are the will and the need to create something unique and that canīt be said about Unifaun. On the other hand this music is so well executed and played that I canīt help enjoying it a lot anyway despite my normal principles and ideas. I think the music deserves a rating somewhere between a 3 and a 4 star rating but because of the commercial moments that I donīt enjoy and the clone factor Iīll give it a 3. Thatīs still a very high rating for a clone band IMO and an indication that this is a really good album.

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 Unifaun by UNIFAUN album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.00 | 49 ratings

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Unifaun
Unifaun Symphonic Prog

Review by Squire Jaco

4 stars Can you tell me where this music's been, said the Unifaun to his true love's eyes.

I'm obviously paraphrasing the opening line to the Genesis song "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight", which is where this new band obtained its name. Unifaun is actually just two talented Swedes by the names of Nad Sylvan and Bonamici, that are such fans of mid-1970's Genesis that they chose to make a 76-minute cd in that style.

Oh my frickin' gawd!!! GET. THIS. C. D. !

Yes, we've all heard the Genesis cover bands that astound us by replicating every note of every song. Or the clone bands that write original music in this style, and are very successful doing it (The Watch, Citizen Cain, Neuschwanstein, etc.). But I have NEVER heard - well, at least not in about 30 years - a true "missing Genesis" album that displays this combination of originality, great compositional skill and uncanny ability to pay tribute to the classic sound of mid-70's Genesis.

I want to play this cd all the time, and that is not like me at all - I usually play a cd and then look for the next thing that interests me. Sylvan's voice bears strong similitudes to both Gabriel and Collins, but more often like Collins. And the instrumentation (keyboards especially) sound just like the originals. So, this is "derivative music" to be sure, but very original songs and melodies (without resorting to the poppier 80's Genesis sound). Some of the chord changes and refrains just feel so right!

This cd can't get my 5-star rating, simply because it is another clone band. But Unifaun has quickly become a favorite in my collection the past few weeks. If you loved Genesis circa 1974 - 1977, do not hesitate to buy this.

I'm gonna unashamedly buck the trend of the other reviewers here and gush 4.5 stars for this cd.

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 Unifaun by UNIFAUN album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.00 | 49 ratings

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Unifaun
Unifaun Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Unifaunīs debut CD sub title (Genesis.Soundscape.Project) leaves very little to imagination, indeed. It actually tells it all. This duo consisting of of Nad Sylvan (vocals, guitars, bass, keys and drums) and Bonamici (keyboards) performs a music that is utterly ressembling of their heroes. In many ways this album reminds me of the time I first heard Citizen Cainīs excellent debut Serpents In Camouflage. There are some strong similarities, although CCīs music relies more in the eletronic side of Genesis and Cyrus voice was uncanny similar of Peter Gabirelīs. Unifaun on the other side has some fine acoustic guitars that were one of the best elements of Genesis music. But Sylvanīs voice is far closer to Phill Collins than to Gabrielīs, a fact that annoyed some of my friends (not me, really).

As for the songwriting itself there are other differences. Citizen Caine took the music Genesis was doing around the time of Lamb Lies Down On Broadway and went one step further in that direction, producing a CD that might have sounded like that band if PG had stayed on. Unifaun picks up differently, adding many elements of Genesis in the 70īs, from Nursery Cryme to Collinīs era effords, like A Trick Of The Tail. The resulting music is very much a hybrid then. Very nice, a bit nostalgic and not adding much. But if their intention was to sound like Genesis, they succeeded. Their musicandhip is awesome, as their knowledge of their heroes style (that in this CD goes as far as to the recording production!).

In my humble opinion this band has a great potential for future works. Their debut is good, but nothing more than that. They know how to emulate Genesis very well, no doubt about it. Still they have to prove themselves on their own. I hope Unifaun will outgrow its Genesis shell and do something really strong and original. Since Citizen Cain never fulfilled their promising start I hope Unifaun can fill this gap. I recommend this CD to any early to mid period Genesis fan. 3,5 stars.

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 Unifaun by UNIFAUN album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.00 | 49 ratings

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Unifaun
Unifaun Symphonic Prog

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

2 stars When I heard about UNIFAUN in the GENESIS Forum, couldn't stop having some curiosity, specially because I'm a fan of the Charterhouse School band, mainly the Gabriel era, so I expected something worth the to listen, despite the lack of originality.

But when I got the album must say it was a bit of a disappointment, I expected music that sounded closee to the earlier GENESIS years and instead I find mostly polished POP stuff

The album starts with "Birth of a Biggie" which was a shock, because it was like listening Phil Collins singing some POP era GENESIS stuff with some reminiscences of "Robbery Assault and Battery", but without the originality required, simply anti-climatic starting point for the album.

"To the Green Faerie" sounds like something rejected from "A Trick of the Tail" but even more less imaginative, the efforts of Nad Sylvan trying to sound like Phil Collins are evident and sadly successful.

"Mr. Marmaduke and the Minister" starts with a very nice keyboard intro that at last reminds me of early GENESIS, somehow reminiscent of "Battle for the Epping Forest" but sung by Phil Collins in Peter Gabriel's style. Not a masterpiece but the competent use of the keyboards makes it worth to listen.

"Swinger's Party" brings us directly into POP Genesis territory with hints of the 4 men era, to be honest I can't say much about this track, being that is totally predictable from start to end without any meaningful changes or something that captures my interest.

"Rehacksis" has a mysterious sound that brings us back to the Wind & Wuthering album, with a strong Hackett influence, especially from his first albums, a very interesting song that proves these guys are very skilled and versatile when the material is solid. Excellent track.

"Quest for the Last Virtue" puzzles me, starts as very late GENESIS or Phil Collins solo stuff, but after the first three minutes and when was falling asleep, a radical change that combines elements from various albums wakes me up, again the keyboard work is outstanding, after a sung section the band enters into an excellent instrumental break, which is extremely interesting, only interrupted by the annoying vocals, and again another change.

Now they sound very close to Wind & Wuthering with special emphasis in the acoustic guitar which is played with singular dexterity, but again they move to a long and refreshing mellotron section in the vein of "A Trick of the Tail" that leads to a complex vocal finale, another good track for UNIFAUN.

"A Way Out" reminds me again of "Steve Hackett's" albums until the vocals irrupt to ruin the effect, from this point forward and despite the efforts of the band, they hardly capture my interest.

"Finistere" is a short instrumental track with influences from "A Trick of the Tail" which flows gently and pleasant without surprises from start to end, but must say that I found it enjoyable.

"Welcome to the Farm" sounds like taken from ABACAB, one GENESIS album I can't stand, so must be no surprise for anybody how boring and repetitive I find this song.

"Maudlin Matter" starts with a very interesting piano intro that leads to a complex instrumental passage that starts to capture me until the vocals take me back to reality, we are before a couple of talented musicians that are not so far away from a tribute band, because even when they play original material, the sound is so close to GENESIS that almost anybody would qualify them as a clones.

Bon-Apart is an incredibly beautiful piano solo that captivates me from the first moment, even when very short, is a completely original piece of music that proves this guys are able to write good music if they try to be original.

"End or Fin" is an instrumental closer in "Los Endos" vein but without the strength of the original, please even the name is a clear reference to the GENESIS masterpiece, not bad a all, but at least they could close the album in an original way.

Now, how to rate this album? 2 stars seem to low because these guys are very skilled, but I rated much more solid and ORIGINAL albums with 3 stars, so the right rating would be 2.5.

Not existing this possibility in Prog Archives and being a debut album from a new band of talented musicians who can do better, I will have to go with 2 stars and wait for an original release.

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