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Unitopia - 'One Night In Europe' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/3b/3c/b5/2534_unitopiaonenightineurope_1343846298.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     August 01, 2012    
 
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A very impressive package.

It has taken too long to get my hands on this release, in the end I resorted to downloading the audio from the band’s website before eventually picking up the DVD from an online retailer. The wait has, I’m delighted to say, been well worth it as Unitopia perform with great alacrity throughout a two hour set that highlights the wealth of their material and its quality. I’m particularly pleased to have the opportunity of seeing the DVD as I couldn’t make the dates the band played in the UK on this tour which must been wonderful if the footage here is anything to go by.

I have a ‘thing’ about bands tinkering with the audio for their live albums but here the band are honest about what they have ‘fixed’ in the studio and the valid reasons why (replacing dodgy backing vocals because of a nasty flu virus that had struck down every member of the band at some point on the tour seems reasonable to me) by listing them all. Visually there are a few sections where the pictures are overexposed as the cameras can’t handle the lighting but that’s a small criticism as they don’t mess about with effects and generally keep it as straightforward concert footage.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Unitopia is a Classic Prog band from Australia that creates long but interesting pieces that move through many themes and tempos whilst having really strong melodies, harmonies and choruses. A case in point is second track ‘Artificial World (Suffocation)’ that opens with a short atmospheric section which has all these qualities in abundance with the chorus that’s incredibly infectious all topped off with fine solos from guest Ian Ritchie (sax & flute) and Matt Williams (guitar) who injects the Rock into the Prog. Mark Trueack has a distinctive and sonorous voice that fits the music perfectly while his partner in crime, Sean Timms (keyboards), delivers some tasty sounds along with the rest of the band, namely David Hopgood (drums), Craig Kelly (bass) and Tim Irgang (percussion) with all but the latter providing the excellent backing vocals. ‘Not Human Anymore’ has some heavy sections and shows the band can Rock while retaining the tunefulness. The epic ‘Tesla’ features another incredible chorus and several other wonderful themes plus more great work from both Timms and Williams.

These songs are played as a continuous piece so it’s 35 minutes before they take a pause. One of my favourite tracks from the band is up next, ‘Gone In A Blink Of An Eye’, with its Gentle Giant vocal opening through to another terrific chorus. ‘The Great Reward’ is a fabulous power ballad while the Middle Eastern influenced ‘Angeliqua’ mixes soft and heavy. ‘More Than a Dream’ ticks all the right boxes as does the set’s second epic, ‘The Garden’, which has all the traits that make up a quintessential Prog track.

Disc two includes additional live footage and back stage coverage rounding out a very impressive package indeed.

Gary Marshall

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