(Unicorn Digital)


Over the past decade, Unicorn Digital has established it’s name as one of the top progressive rock labels in North America.The Unicorn name was made golden thanks to the hard work of guitarist Michel St-Pere, who in addition to his A&R work with Unicorn, is also the guitar sound of his group Mystery—which also features the vocals of current YES vocalist Benoit David. Mystery’s 2008 CD, Beneath The Veil Of Winter’s Face gave way to a fresh remix of the first Mystery CD, Destiny?, which was remastered and reissued in 2009 with the name Destiny? - 10th Anniversary Edition. Progressive rock fans seeking some fresh insight into the early Mystery sound, before Benoit David joined the band, should give a listen to this newly overhauled anniversary edition of the first Mystery album. Looking foward at new recordings on Unicorn, Michel St-Pere received lots of critical acclaim for Unicorn's 2009 CD releases of the first Flood album—a sonically rewarding New Age instrumental masterpiece called Tales From The Four Seasons—and likewise St. Pere and Unicorn did a great job on the 2009 album from Roger Powell, entitled Blue Note Ridge. While Powell earned his stellar reputation as the legendary keyboardist with Todd Rundgren’s Utopia, on Blue Note Ridge he further establishes his credentials with a stunning sounding CD of newly crafted solo piano improvisations. Powell’s piano is clean and crisply recorded and—even without a shred of electronica—he gets his musical points across. Powell is still in the rock sphere thanks to his work with his retro-futuristic, groove oriented band, The Fossil Poets, but his solo piano sound on Blue Note Ridge makes for a thoroughly engaging album of instrumental acoustic piano genius. Also out on Unicorn during the late Fall of 2009 is The Second Sight Of Mind from guitarist Agah Bahari. Co-produced by fusion keyboard genius Derek Sherinian, the CD is described as a one of a kind, adventurous instrumental progressive metal collaboration between Agah, Derek, Virgil Donati and Ric Fierabracci. Those who like their instrumental rock hard and fast with traces of rock metal and guitar fusion should hear this powerhouse release on Unicorn. Also in the prog mold from Unicorn is This Mortal Coil from the prog-rock group Celestial Oeuvre. Dedicated to the memory of Jose Damien, whose keyboards grace this CD, Celestial Oeuvre features key contributions from singer-songwriter Joe Acaba (who composed a good part of the music and most of the lyrics here) as well as Long Island guitar hero Joe Nardulli and drummer Hector Lopez. Recorded in NYC, the music is very much in the prog-rock mold with echoes of rock stalwarts like Rush and even Deep Purple. Like usual, Unicorn packs their Celestial Oeuvre CD with complete lyrics and truly celestial artwork and packaging. Commenting on working with Jose Damien and Joe Acaba, guitarist Joe Nardulli, leader of the Long Island jazz-rock fusion group Ad Astra, spoke to adding, ‘Yes, Celestial Oeuvre - I had a great time recording with that band. Really talented musicians and great, great early prog stylings. Sadly, the musical force behind the project, Jose Damien passed away just after he completed all the rhythm guitar, keyboard, bass tracks and editing. A tremendous talent Jose was, and very inspiring to work with. I just went in a laid down solo guitar stuff with Jose "directing" me for what he wanted to hear. Singer Joe Acaba did a beautiful job with lyrics and melodies...his harmony work and vocal "vision" is stunning. I did both CDs with the band. After the first release, Second Chance, they were picked up by Unicorn Records and did This Mortal Coil. I played on both Celestial Oeuvre CDs. Second Chance was the first, released by the band themselves and This Mortal Coil is on Unicorn.’ /


Attention Artists and Record Companies: Have your CD reviewed by
Send to
: CD Reviews Editor Robert Silverstein, P.O. Box 630249, Little Neck, N.Y. 11363-0249
CD Reviews Feature Reviews & Features Archive Photo Archive Contact MWE3 Home


Copyright 2000-2010, Inc. All Rights Reserved