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Landmarq: Origins

British neo-prog band Landmarq formed in the early '90s after personnel changes in the band Quasar. After nearly twenty-five years in the industry the band felt it was time to release a compilation and the result is Origins, a two CD set containing over two hours of music.

This is the first opportunity I have had delving into Landmarq's music and this album seems like it would be a great place to start if you are unfamiliar with the band.

Landmarq's history can be divided into two eras; the Hitching years and the Damian years with each era named after their lead singer. The first disc is titled "The Tracy Years" and covers tracks from 1998 to the present. Hitchings has a powerful voice, is always in control and provides the necessary emotion when required. Instrumentally speaking, the rest of the band is equally as talented. Fabulous guitar and keyboard interactions abound, some quite complex as in the daring "Lighthouse" where a lonely piano intro leads to jazzy guitar and keyboard excursions that will light a spark under any fan of symphonic progressive rock. "After I Died Somewhere" starts softly with stark piano and angelic vocals before the rest of the band join in. There is a Pink Floyd feel here and some delicious lead guitar ala David Gilmour. More soaring lead guitar can be heard in the smooth symphonic prog of "Heritage" while "Turbulence (Paradigm Shift)" has a darker beginning with a nod to the Middle East. The guitar has more bite but the music is still lush and symphonic and as melodic as progressive rock gets.

The only new tune is the ten plus minute title track. It's another excellent slice of symphonic prog. Great builds of orchestration, spacey interludes of mellowness and more fluidic lead guitar.

The second disc covers the Damian years (1991 to 1995) and is just as good as the first. Anyone who has followed progressive rock the last twenty years knows the impact Wilson has made on the genre. Highlights include the addictive "Forever Young" and it's Floydy middle section, the lush prog pop of "Borders" and the sixteen minute epic "Ta Jiang", a dynamic piece flowing from quieter piano led sections to more intensive, heavier sounds. Wilson is at his best here.

So what's not to like? Soaring lead guitars, dynamic synth/keyboard work, excellent lead vocals and beautiful melodies. They have a modern yet classic sound which should appeal to fans of Floyd, Genesis, Marillion, IQ and many others. Simply outstanding.

Track Listing:
Disc 1 The Tracy Years
1. Science Of Coincidence (5:16)
2. Lighthouse (10:55)
3. Between Sleeping And Dreaming (9:31)
4. Tailspin (Let Go The Line) (5:17)
5. After I Died Somewhere (4:41)
6. Heritage (5:55)
7. Turbulence (Paradigm Shift) (12:32)
8. Personal Universe (7:52)
9. Origins (10:58)

Disc 2 The Damian Years
1. Killing Fields (4:55)
2. Forever Young (8:56)
3. Borders (5:01)
4. Solitary Witness (6:52)
5. Ta Jiang (16:33)
6. Embrace (6:32)
7. Pinewood Avenue (6:24)
8. Narovlya (11:09)
9. Bed Of Nails (7:15)

Added: September 20th 2014
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 2003
Language: english

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