RoSfest 2017: new bands announced

The selections for the RoSfest 2017 line-up keep coming this week, two additional bands have been announced. The Texas-based foursome The Aaron Clift Experiment will take the Saturday’s first spot. Formed in 2012 their debut album “Lonely Hills” quickly made an impact, with the highly influential Prog Magazine describing them as one of the best unsigned bands of 2013. Their second album “Outer Light, Inner Darkness” has met with even more critical acclaim and positive reviews worldwide. Due to the strengths of these two albums, Prog Magazine has nominated the band for “The Limelight Award” in 2016, an honor reserved for what the magazine describes as rising prog-stars.

The Aaron Clift Experiment
The Aaron Clift Experiment

The Aaron Clift Experiment is a contemporary progressive rock band that blends their sources of inspiration, jazz and classical music as much as a variety of progressive rock bands, inside a compelling and accessible context. This unique combination creates music that’s easy on the mind at the surface level, but contains a vast amount of the subtle intricate features and details that a progressive rock-inclined audience tends to appreciate. Aaron Clift (vocals, keyboards), Eric Gutierrez (guitars), Devin North (bass) and Tim Smith (drums) is a foursome that have all the ingredients needed to rise to a higher stature in the world of progressive rock.

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The choice for the second Saturday’s band have fallen on the veteran US band Unified Past. This New York-based band formed in 1998, with roots going back to early 1990’s band Labyrinth. Although the band was originally aligned towards a progressive metal-oriented sound with inspiration from bands like Rush, in the last few years their style has morphed due to a changing line-up. These days, veteran members Stephen Speelman (guitars, keyboards) and Victor Tassone (drums) have been joined by Dave Mickelson (bass) and Phil Naro (vocals).

Unified Past
Unified Past

The band’s seventh album “Shifting the Equilibrium,” released on US label Melodic Revolution Records in 2015. The bite of progressive metal is still present, with traces of bands such as Rush and possibly even Dream Theater, but it’s now paired with sounds of a more vintage nature that could be compared to bands like Yes. With the excellent lead vocals of Phil Naro as the proverbial icing on the cake, “Shifting the Equilibrium” has been a true-to-life game changer for this band. Unified Past is a veteran act that has transformed in the last couple years from relative obscurity into a group that could really be going places.

Unified Past official

Unified Past Facebook


Joel Barrios