’s Essentials is proud to present Planetary Overload, Part 2 – Hope, the brand-new studio album from environmentally-conscious progressive rock supergroup United Progressive Fraternity!’s Essentials is proud to present Planetary Overload, Part 2 – Hope, the brand-new studio album from environmentally-conscious progressive rock supergroup United Progressive Fraternity!

Heart, healing, and humanity have always been at the center of United Progressive Fraternity, with their goal of spreading connectedness and understanding across the world permeating everything they’ve done. Never before has their trademark synthesis of vibrantly sophisticated instrumentation and captivatingly meaningful songwriting felt as rewarding and resonant as on Planetary Overload, Part 2 – Hope, the spacious conclusion to the trilogy that began with 2014’s Fall in Love with the World and continued with 2019’s Planetary Overload, Part 1 – Loss.

Like its predecessors, the band explain, Hope “focuses on the problems we are already beginning to encounter on a troubled planet and expected to face with increasing severity in the future”; consequently, it encourages listeners to take “immediate positive action to mitigate those effects to ensure humanity’s survival. After all, Hope is a conscious choice. We are awake to the adversity we face (specifically regarding fair treatment of Earth and its inhabitants), yet we choose optimism over despair.”

Once again produced and led by vocalist/songwriter Mark Truey Trueack (Unitopia) and multiinstrumentalist/songwriter Steve Unruh, Hope further embraces the “Fraternity” in UPF by incorporating the talents of over three dozen of today’s most renowned and skilled progressive rock artists. From prior collaborators (such as Christophe Lebled, Nick Magnus, Charlie Cawood, Steve Hackett, Colin Edwin, Lisa Wetton, and Hasse Fröberg) to exciting newcomers (such as Rachel Flowers, Ryo Okumoto,  Jonas Reingold, Tommy Murray, and even Unitopia co-founder Sean Timms), the LP undoubtedly features UPF’s greatest line-up to date.

“We collated a list of superb, likeminded prog rock magicians for this final installment of the Love/Loss/Hope trilogy. We feel progressive rock is at its best when there’s a strong message,”’s Essentials’ Mark Monforti reflects.

On that note, celebrated visual artist Ed Unitsky (Unitopia, The Tangent, Manning, Jon Anderson) returns, too, ensuring that the artwork for Hope is just as colorful and inspirational as the music it represents. 

Clocking in at approx. two hours in length, Hope is also the group’s most dynamic, expansive, and profound creation thus far. From the rousing lyricism, hooky choruses, and majestically adventurous timbres of lead single “Love Never Leaves Us” to the Led Zeppelin-esque aggression of “Homosapien” and the divine splendor of penultimate gem “Hymn of Hope,” the record is a tour-de-force of exquisite musicianship, spellbinding melodies, and perhaps most importantly, life-affirming messages.

From start to finish, Hope signifies not only an exhilarating new chapter for UPF, but an essential experience for progressive rock aficionados and the world at large. As the band proudly proclaim, “the entire planet needs to hear this album!”

Planetary Overload, Part 2 – Hope releases on July 15th, 2023!. Pre-orders for the 3-LP vinyl edition and triple CD edition—the latter of which includes a bonus collection by Trueack, Unruh, and Lebled as The Romantechs—start on April 22nd, 2023 (Earth Day) via’s Essentials (

In the meantime, you can listen to “Love Never Leaves Us” on YouTube and Spotify. Lastly, follow United Progressive Fraternity online for in-depth song profiles!

For more information:
[email protected] 

Scott Neumeister

Scott Neumeister

Scott grew up in the suburbs of Tampa, Florida, in the 70s and 80s, immersed in music from multiple genres all at once. His mother was a classical music and jazz lover, while his father appreciated folk music and tiki-influenced exotica sounds. Of course, AM radio at the time played so many different styles, one minute country, the next pop, the following rock. He became a musician in this timeframe, going from learning the keyboard to then drums, guitar, and bass.

Hanging out with fellow musicians in high school, he was schooled in progressive rock from the greats: Genesis, Yes, King Crimson, Rush, and so on. Simultaneously, the New Wave of British Heavy Metal washed over American shores, attuning his ears to metal and forcing an exploration of the classic metal masters. All bets were off, however, the day he picked up a vinyl copy of Dream Theater’s When Dream and Day Unite. This new burgeoning genre of prog metal became a passion, and he found a local “tribe” who helped fire his interest in it.

Scott’s intention for Metal Mischief is to explore the prog metal genre, while paying loving (if not mischievous!) attention to other adjacent genres that overlap with the sound of “heavy metal thunder.”

Dave Ratisher

Dave Ratisher

What happens when an 8-year-old kid in 1972 gets his first transistor radio and his first musical loves on WABC-AM and WWRL-AM in New York are classic R&B, the symphonic soul of Barry White and his Love Unlimited Orchestra, and the “pop Prog” of Jeff Lynne and the Electric Light Orchestra? Then, some new friends a little later in jr. high introduce him to ELP, the virtuoso Southern Rock of the Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Molly Hatchet, and some more “pop Prog” by the Alan Parsons Project? Then, sprinkle in some symphonic disco love on New York’s WBLS radio, and then the discovery of New York’s WRVR jazz radio, and then college in downtown Manhattan literally right next door to the J&R Music World Jazz Outlet, and where does it all lead? Why to Jazz, Rock/Jazz Fusion, and Prog, of course…the genres where all that love of complex, well played and arranged long form music come together! But wait, there’s more: Fold in the quite-accidental discovery of the great Japanese fusion band T-Square in 1988 and seeing them live at NYC’s Bottom Line, and then learning about the whole J-Fusion subculture, and the fixation is complete…for the next 35+ years!

Hope you enjoy the “Fusion Plus w/ Dave”, program, the culmination of 5 decades of “all that jazz”.

Unitopia 2023 Tour

Unitopia 2023 Tour

The first two tour dates have been announced for Unitopia’s 2023 tour:

Sep 14 – De Boerderij, Zoetermeer, NL Buy Tickets
Oct 6, 7, 8 – Progstock, Rahway, NJ, USA (Exact Day/Time TBD)

More dates to be announced!

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