Review Elements

  • PREVIOUS RATING: 10/10
  • ACCESSIBILITY: 7/10
  • HEAVINESS: 5/10
  • MELODIC: 7/10
  • ARTWORK & PACKAGING 10/10

Let me start this review by saying it will not be a quick review.  I have been living with most every version of this album for the last 100 weeks as I first heard it at 2017 RoSFest. I am also a huge fan of Mark “Truey” Trueack – flying to Wales from Chicago to see Unitopia in 2010.  

From the first note, the album the album exudes drama.  The voice-over sets the stage perfectly. Then the flute and the iconic vocals of Jon Davison suck you right in. The different instruments that fade in an out feel like a foreshadowing of the sounds for the rest of the album.

What Happens Now will shock Unitopia fans on first listen.  Mark sounds like he has never sounded before – abandoning some of his melodic vocals in favor of a “rockier” style.  Drama now coming not only from the vocals but from Steve Unruh’s violin and later with wind instruments.  

Cruel Times, written by Ettore Salati,Truey and Angelo Racz, is a mellow track and and Truey returns to the vocal stylings that have preceeded this album.  This song has some nice hooks and melodies.  

What Are We Doing to Ourselves is a shorter minimalist track and backed by a beat that you might envision being played by an island tribe.  

Stop Time is a quirky song with Truey showing his vocal versatility as he belts out some lyrics which are backed by some very staccato notes.  I particularly like the build to the 2-minute mark.  The interlude around the 4-minute mark includes an impossible drumming sequence that is 100% playful and 100% dramatic.  The choir sounds at the end of this section area wonderful transition back to the melody. 

One More is another very minimalistic track featuring Truey, violin, and guitar.

It’s time to rock out again when we get to Mercenaries which starts off with a sense of foreboding, but quickly turns positive with the lyric, “we can make it alright”.   Some wonderful violin again from Steve Unruh in this track in the song’s middle third.  

What If is a short interlude lead by Truey’s indomitable vocals.  

Forgive Me, My Son has some Middle-Eastern sounds due to the string instruments used for this track.  The song is a runaway train of emotion. Layers of sullenness fill this track with textures of a song containing twice as many instrauments as this song possesses.

Dying to Be Reborn shows Truey’s range as a singer.  This song reminds me of why I think his vocals are one-of-a-kind.  The melody in this track is catchy and emotionally charged.

The 20-minute epic, Seeds For Life, is an outstanding song . The 14-minute mark of this track might be my personal favorite part of the album

Loss To Lost bookends the album nicely with the menagerie of sounds and instruments that encompass the album.

Overall, this album may not have a song on there that I like as much as the Garden or Traveling Man or The Great Reward. That being said its a consistently outstanding album. Well worth your time and money.

ALBUM HIGHLIGHTS: Request What Happens Now Here

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If you have never read the key for my ratings below please do so one time. I feel my ratings are tougher than my peers. Some other reviewers may inflate their ratings in hopes to get people and bands the share the link to the review. When you have a domain like progrock.com you don’t need to drive traffic to your site.
So you can count on my reviews to be fair and any bias I might have whether positive or negative will be clearly explained including a rating for my opinion of the band prior to reviewing the album. Also Check my last.fm link to see how compatible our music tasts are.

https://www.last.fm/user/mon40/library/artists

Key:
These ratings are just attributes and may not have correlation to the most important: OVERALL RATING

PREVIOUS BAND RATING
0: Never heard of them or debut album.
2: Someone recommended. I give them another shot.
4: Some good moments in the past but never put together an album I really liked.
6: Some 4 or 5 star songs but albums can be hit or miss for me.
8: I like 80% of their songs and probably went to see them live.
10: I would, and probably have gone on a plane to see them live.

ACCESSIBILITY EXAMPLES
2: Weather Report
4: Zappa
6: Genesis – Selling England by the Pound,
8: Marillion – F.E.A.R
10: Kino – Picture

HEAVINESS EXAMPLES
2: IQ – Seventh House
4: Discipline – Unfold Like a Staircase
6: Porcupine Tree – In Abstentia, Shadow Gallery – Tyranny
8: Vanden Plas – Chirst 0, Dream Theater – Scenes From a Memory
10: Opeth – Black Water Park

MELODIC EXAMPLES:
2: Opeth – Black Water Park
4: Vanden Plas – Chirst 0, Dream Theater – Scenes From a Memory
6: Porcupine Tree – In Abstentia, Shadow Gallery – Tyranny
8: Discipline – Unfold Like a Staircase
10: IQ – Seventh House

OVERALL RATING:
2: Will Never listen to again and deleted under no circumstances should you buy this
4: Not my thing maybe one redeeming song.
6: I like parts of this and I would check them out if they were near me.
8: I would get in the car and road trip to see this album live
10: I would get on a plane to see this performed live

Packaging:
0: Did not send
2: Sleeve or jewel-case with only single card front.
4: Some interesting information in packaging.
6: Nice art and some information
8: Nice art and full lyrics
10: Full lyrics, composer credits, are for each specific song

See if our likes are similar See my Last.fm Page

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