A few years back Australian band Unitopia called it quits, with members seeking to investigate new and different projects. One of those projects is United Progressive Fraternity, created and propelled by vocalist Mark Trueack, and joined by ex-Unitopia members Matt Williams on guitar, Dave Hopgood on drums, Tim Irrgang on percussion.
Trueack's vision had several components. One, obviously, was to create engagaing and entertaining melodic progressive rock. In this sense, most listeners will find little difference between Unitopia and UPF. Second, he hoped for a core band and found that in former members, among others. Finally, in the 'fraternity' sense Trueack wanted to invite and engage with like-minded prog enthusiasts around the globe for inspiration and creation. A sort of revolving door, these musicians could come and go as they please, but also offer their ideas and input for song development. The A-list of guests is a who's who of international progressive rock. You can check out the celebs at the band's website or Facebook page. The result of Trueack's invention is the United Progressive Fraternity and their debut Fall In Love With The World.
As suggested earlier, and not toseem reductionistic or simplistic, there's no large dissimilarity between the UPF and the former Unitopia. Some my find parts of certain songs, like Water or Travelling Man, to have some 'heavier' or sharper contrasts from the riffage, but we're not talking progressive metal here. There's always been both a certain inherent gentleness to their music, like easy-listening prog and the definitive exploration intrigue and compexity in arrangements. For the former, Don't Look Back and the title track satisfy with Trueack's soft vocals over acoustic guitar. For the latter, of course there's the aforementioned opus, at nearly 22 minutes, Travelling Man, but also Choices. Yet in this number, the majority of it, could fall into the former character of lightness, only getting spirited or lively in the latter third. Discussion of this song segues into mention of the preceding and opening song We Only Get One World. Mostly an instrumental, it's synth symphonic orchestration gives it a nearly cinematic feel, even that of an overture to an epic. Then there's Intersection, which is less progressive rock, and more AOR melodic rock thanks to it's catchy and vibrant refrain.
With UFP conceptual idea that informs both band and music, I suspect we will be hearing more from this talented aggregate of musicians. Fall In Love With The World is creative, engaging, and entertaining melodic progressive rock, and easily recommended.
Fall In Love With The World is creative, engaging, and entertaining melodic progressive rock, and easily recommended.
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