Was it really 18 months ago that I reviewed The Garden the excellent double album release from Australia’s Unitopia? It doesn’t seem that long but the reason the timescale is somewhat blurred is probably because I have been playing it ever since. It was an album that had me drooling words such as “sprawling, grandiose, epic, intriguing.”
Certainly a lot has happened to everyone involved since then. The band has deservedly been earning far greater recognition and has now delivered their third album Artificial. This is nothing more than what Unitopia deserve and dare I say what many of us predicted on first hearing them.
Let’s remind ourselves of who the band are. Built around the musical minds of Mark Trueack and Sean Timms the band now include guitarist Matt Williams, bassist Shaun Duncan, sax player Peter Raidel, and the combined percussion skills of Jamie Jones and Tim Irrgang.
Their aim is to provide “thought provoking music” concerning “environmental awareness, political and social upheaval, media misrepresentation, the hectic pace of life and human relationships in a positive and uplifting light by using progressive rock as a framework.” All this sounds a tall order. That is until you press play.
Their promising debut album More Than A Dream arrived in March 2006. However, it was The Garden released after they had signed a three album deal with Inside Out Music that really saw the band begin to stake its claim worldwide.
The worry of course was whether the band had over-stretched itself with this epic double. It left many asking the obvious question. Just how could they follow such a breakthrough achievement? The answer is contained within the first moments of Artificial. All doubts are extinguished and any potential concerns are buried as the band takes you on another wonderfully, unravelling musical journey.
Artificial is a ten-track concept album which they will take on live dates across Europe starting in October this year (2010). They immediately underline their undoubted ability with their trademark elements of progressive influences mixed in with gentle touches of jazz, classical, and rock.