Landmarq: RoadSkill – Live in the Netherlands (CD/DVD)
British progressive rock band Landmarq are celebrating their twenty-fifth anniversary with the release of RoadSkill – Live in the Netherlands, a CD/DVD set capturing the band on their last tour.
I first became familiar with the band after reviewing their compilation disc Origins released last year which I thought was an excellent set and a good introduction to the band for those uninitiated.
The band's line-up consists of founding members Steve Gee (bass, bass pedals, backing vocals) and Uwe D'rose (guitars) along with Tracy Hitchings (lead vocals), Mike Varty (keyboards, backing vocals) and newest member Daniel Martin (drums).
This most recent release has the band playing the entire Entertaining Angels album, their last studio release. There are a couple of tracks that are on the DVD but not the CD, namely "Mountains of Anglia" and "Walking On Eggshells".
First the CD. If you are a Landmarq fan you probably know what you are going to hear. For those unfamiliar with the band what you get are lush orchestral soundscapes of majestic synths, soaring lead guitar, Hutchings' lovely yet dramatic vocals and all the magnificent splendor one has come to expect from these veteran musicians.
The set begins with the up tempo symphonic prog of "Turbulence", a real catchy tune that shifts effortlessly between hard driving riffs and mellower soundscapes. On "Glowing" it starts slow with pretty solo piano and emotive lead vocals before Varty makes his presence felt with a wonderful synth solo and D'rose's melodic guitar soloing. "Stormbrewing" is a short piece featuring Varty's dramatic piano which leads directly into "Thunderstruck" showcasing some nice soloing from Varty and D'rose and Hitchings' perfectly pitched vocals.
The Pink Floyd inspired "Entertaining Angels" is another highlight with great intro guitar from D'rose, Varty's dramatic swells of keys and a wonderful vocal arrangement.
What it comes down to is almost seventy-eight minutes of outstanding neo prog.
The DVD is a great visual representation of the band with quality footage, nice band member close ups and Hitching's almost Stevie Nicks-like presence which, by the way, is meant as a compliment. Also included are interviews with the band and a few other surprises.
This is quite a lovely set, especially if you have not had the chance to see Landmarq live. Hopefully they can continue to make their mark as one of the best British progressive rock bands around. Released on Synergy Records.
1. Turbulence (10:47)
2. Personal Universe (9:14)
3. Glowing (11:51)
4. Stormbrewing (1:36)
5. Thunderstruck (14:02)
6. Prayer (Coming Home) (5:42)
7. Calm Before The Storm (16:33)
i. Strange But Beautiful
iii. Into The Abyss
8. Entertaining Angels (8:02)
1. Mountains Of Anglia
3. Personal Universe
8. Walking On Eggshells
9. Calm Before The Storm
10. Entertaining Angels
Plus band interviews and bonus material
Added: September 1st 2015
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
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