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Marching Mind: The Sickness and the Theory

I am always amazed at the number of variations any one band can bring to an already eclectic range of musical styles. Take, for instance, Marching Mind, a band out of Vancouver, BC, that sometimes describes its sound as "grog," or "grunge-prog." Ultimately, these titles are quite useless, but they point to the difficulty of giving labels to all the kinds of music available to listeners these days. Marching Mind certainly has a sound all their own, but there remains something deeply familiar about the chord progressions, the changes in meter, tempo, and overall style. Listeners have heard this kind of music before, but never with this exact combination of sounds and styles. As I listened, I struggled to come up with any one idea that captures exactly what I think Marching Mind is doing. Here's what I came up with--progressive concept music. The Sickness and the Theory has the feel of a concept album, one that hopes to explore a range of human emotions, but that doesn't completely have its story straight. Don't get me wrong--I know this isn't a concept album, but it sure sounds like one. The music on The Sickness and the Theory is generally good. It favors upbeat sounds and motifs, clean vocals, bright guitar chords, and major melodies. I don't know what Marching Mind is trying to say lyrically, but the song titles strike a sense of mysticism, perhaps another reason why I am thinking of this album as speaking to a larger thematic concept. For listeners new to this band, I'd recommend tracks like "Vertigo of Silence" and "Steps of Avaran," and "Astral Transmission" since they bring out a great deal of this band's more progressive elements. My favorite track, "Locust Enigma," had, in my opinion, the hardest rock edge. I loved the crunching guitar parts and how they complimented the opening piano melody.

My main criticism of the album is that, despite the band's eclectic range of approaches, there is a paucity of overall texture and range here. This is a mash-up of progressive rock and grunge. I don't think this band has quite found a voice that sets them apart from other bands. Yes, they blend a variety of sounds, but it doesn't always add up to a sound that will make listeners recognize Marching Mind quickly enough. These guys are clearly very talented but I think that more albums will finally give them a sound to call their own. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy listening to the heavy guitar riffs on "Locust Enigma."

Track Listing:
1. Conception
2. Vertigo of Silence
3. Reactivation
4. Borne Upon Tears
5. Steps of Avaran
6. Astral Transmission
7. Locust Enigma
8. Surge Subterra
9. Convergence

Added: May 8th 2012
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Myspace Page
Hits: 2890
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Marching Mind: The Sickness and the Theory
Posted by Carl Sederholm on 2012-05-10 20:33:06
My Score:

Thanks for your response to my review! I enjoyed reading your comments and hope I can learn more about Marching Mind in the coming days. I definitely like what you guys are doing and wish you much success. I hope my efforts to describe your sound in words wasn't too far afield. I review lots of death metal and have a taste for the harder riffing, but was interested in your proggy musical style.

You guys seem really tight--best wishes with the new release!

Marching Mind: The Sickness and the Theory
Posted by Will (MM Bass) on 2012-05-10 02:42:06
My Score:

Thanks for the review! I hear what you are saying about finding a sound - although in the process of writing this album, we felt that by the end we had identified something we liked that was indeed our own sound. The earliest pieces (With the exception of Conception and Borne Upon Tears) are actually written in the same order of the album's track listing. By the time we had finished preproduction, Reactivation & Vertigo had been played for nearly a year at our local live shows - however I felt much more comfortable about the direction of writing onward from Steps of Avaran, which had been completed almost 6 months after the other 2. I think that while we head into material for the 3rd album, we'll probably be writing music that follows a little more along the lines of Convergence, Locust & Surge Subterra. We tend to play those ones live quite often.

This is a concept album actually, but Jeremy (the lyricist) purposefully wrote the lyrics with a bit of ambiguity because he wanted to hear other people's interpretations. I think he said this was from a heavy Yes influence. :)

We were working on posting the lyrics, however, the details of the story might have to come from Jeremy - it is after all very complicated. You can get a few ideas of his writing styles from our old tour video -

The Sickness & The Theory was written as one story line for the most part. We'll likely pass the ideas onto our album - much of the sickness was based off of the Harbinger story line.

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