Unified Past have been around the block a few times. The Upstate NY band have been together since the late 90s and have gone thru some changes since they started out. Guitarist/Keyboardist Stephen Speelman has been the mainstay through out the band’s existence. I suppose he unifies their past? Their last few albums have been very solid and quite consistent. Their last one “Spots” has a very upbeat vibe and for whatever reason sounds like a prog party band. Half the album is made up of freewheeling instrumentals.
A lot can happen in two years, especially in the world of Unified Past. Enter well regarded vocalist Phil Naro who has played with everyone from Talas (with Billy Sheehan) to the great Druckfarben. While Stephen had taken over the vocal duties on “Spots,” it never seemed like it was by design. Especially since half of it had no vocals. Phil Naro can flat out sing. He has the upper register that brings to mind Jon Anderson. Can you picture Jon singing in a prog metal band? Well that’s basically what we have here. Although, I would say Unified Past are more like Moving Pictures era Rush than Dream Theater.
“Shifting the Equilibrium” takes the Unified Past sound and stretches it out more. Where the last album seemed to be in a hurry to go as many places as possible. It’s as if adding Naro has had a calming effect on the other members. The playing is tighter, the songs have more melody and everything is far more epic. “Erasure Principle” combines the melodic sensibility that they have always had with an added power and dynamic not present before. The lone instrumental “Deviation from a Theme” is actually better than all of the previous instrumentals!
“Shifting the Equilibrium” shows a band with more confidence than ever. They are truly going for it on this release. It’s as if everything they have done in the past has set them up for this moment. Unified Past have honed their prog abilities to a razor sharp point and “Shifting the Equilibrium” is the result of their hard work and dedication to their craft.
1. Erasure Principle
2. Smile (In the Face of Adversity)
3. Etched in Stone
4. Peace Remains in the World
5. Deviation from a Theme (of Harmonic Origin)
6. Today is the Day
Label: Melodic Revolution Records