In 2011 a band called Unified Past released their 6th album since 1993. It was recorded as a duo of Stephen Speelman (vocals, guitars, keyboards), Victor Tassone (drums) and Guest musician Vinny Krivacsy (keyboards). Since the album released, they became a trio with Dave Mickelson (bass) joining the band. They’re currently seeking a keyboardist. I’m sure that will free up Stephen to concentrate on guitar and vocals.
Their brand of progressive rock is a mixture of symphonic rock, heavy prog as well as some minimal AOR moments. There are two bands that I’m reminded of Cryptic Vision and Salem Hill each time I listen to Observations. I feel that Unified Past while similar to those bands, has their own unique sound. I would even add 80s & 90s editions of Kansas to the influences I hear.
From the heavy hitting opening “I’m Not Answering” to keyboard/guitar heavy “Here They Come” (the latter is similar to UK - Danger Money album in the instrumentation) the listener is treated to a solid album with no filler.
Other than “I’m Not Answering”, personal highlights are “Faithless” which is the longest track on the album as well as the more accessible “The Move”. I will implore the listener to listen all the way through the album with no distractions to fully appreciate it’s beauty.
In closing, I highly recommend Observations to any fan of melodic prog/rock as well as the aforementioned bands.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on March 28, 2012