Unified Past - From The Splintered Present Surfaces...

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Atomik Records
Catalog Number: ATM010
Format: CD
Total Time: 51:37:00

After an obligated change of name from Labyrinth into Unified Past, this New York based prog metal sensation has not only changed its name, with their first album under the new name, From The Splintered Present Surfaces, they have also made one huge leap forward. Whilst the Labyrinth albums were maybe a bit "flat" for lovers of true progressive rock, we can honestly say that this new album has all it takes to really score BIG here. Both the bombastic keyboards of Vinny Krivacsy and the striking drum breaks of Matthew Wood contribute to this well-oiled prog metal. On top of that the voice of guitarist Stephen Speelman can easily compete with that of Rush's Geddy Lee which can only stress the professional end result.

Holy are the organ sounds during "Unearthed" and the bass-drum interaction during "Just Like That." Also "Resonate" delivers an interesting amount of tension without having to copy Dream Theater.

In "Kingdom Of The Stars" the listener feels like a ping-pong ball, what with contrasts between the softer and harder passages, wherein of course the individual talent of each of the musicians is emphasized. Pity though that keyboard player Vinny doesn't have access to a real church organ in order to give this song even more "power."

The two final songs "Stretch" and "Dream Of Love" are the longest in length and lodge a fair amount of progressive elements. Especially the intro for "Dream Of Love" that seems to come right out of UK's In The Dead Of Night, yet is soon switched to the Unified Past recipe in order to make it swing more, more rocky, so as to reach the heart of the rock lover.

Speelman can also be found on the Lick This - The Guitar 2001 Compilation CD, where he can be heard next to contributions by The Magic Elf, Dr. Frankenshred, and other illustrious examples. Steve's contribution is called "Moriches Winter Sky"/"Dream Of Love" and opens with nice medieval acoustic guitar before it evolves into a showcase for Speelman's light-fingered skill and sense of harmony, helped out here by the rest of his what as then-called Labyrinth.

Head (4:59) / Internal Affairs (3:35) / Unearthed (4:57) / Tree House (5:39) / Just Like That (8:04) / Resonate (4:19) / Kingdom Of The Stars (4:35) / Silent Partner (3:27) / Stretch (7:31) / Dream Of Love (6:31)

Stephen Speelman - guitars, vocals
Vinny Krivacsy - keyboards
Peter Palmieri - bass
Mathew Wood - drums

From The Splintered Present Surfaces... (1999/2001)
Power Of Existence (2008/2009)
Breaking Up The Atmosphere (2009)
Tense (2009/2010)
Observations (2011)
Spots (2013)
Shifting The Equilibrium (2015)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

Added: January 30th 2000
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website: www.unifiedpast.com
Hits: 1075
Language: english


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