Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home
 
Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Landmarq

Origins: A Landmarq Anthology 1991-14

Review by Gary Hill

Landmarq is a pretty amazing band and this career spanning retrospective shows that fact off well. The first disc features songs with current vocalist Tracy Hitchings. It includes studio tracks, live recordings and one brand new piece. The second disc includes older material with their original singer Damian Wilson (Threshold, Rick Wakeman). There is not a bad song here and there are some exceptional ones. This set would be a great introduction to the progressive rock powerhouse that is Landmarq. I should mention that two songs here I’ve reviewed previously. For the sake of consistency those track reviews are included here.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc 1
Science of Coincidence
Keyboards dominate the opening section here. It’s dramatic and powerful and makes me think of the band UK, just a bit. The piece transitions toward melodic progressive rock after that. There is almost a Yes-like vibe here. The vocals are closer to Lana Lane, though. There are some dramatic, almost middle Eastern elements mid-track. This is a real prog rock powerhouse that works through a lot of shifts and changes.
Lighthouse
Piano starts this and builds out in a rather classical way. It evolves into a progressive rock balladic motif for the entrance of the vocals. This gets more layers of sound and power, but remains balladic throughout the first couple minutes. The vocal performance is especially evocative and powerful. There is a symphonic prog instrumental break after a time and the piece shifts toward more rocking territory from there. They take into some pretty impressive and amazing progressive rock as they continue. I love the killer guitar dominated section later, too. Even that, though, gets some shifts and changes built into it. It also gets some keyboard dominance further down the road.
Between Sleeping and Dreaming

This starts as a keyboard and vocal movement that’s dramatic and beautiful. As the piece grows it is quite intriguing and rather classical. It works forward in a pretty mainstream, straight-line approach for the first five minutes or so. Then it powers out to more of a symphonic prog jam that’s got a lot of restrained power. The vocal performance is particularly inspired and there are some great musical moments, too.

Tailspin (Let Go the Line)
There is almost a rubbery prog groove to this number. Somehow it makes me think of Hawkwind just a bit. Although it does evolve and change, this is a pretty straightforward piece. It’s very prog, though.
After I Died Somewhere
A pretty balladic piece, this is powerful. It works forward in mellower styles for the first few minutes and then powers out, still working on the same themes and moods.
Heritage
The section that starts this makes me think of classic Genesis quite a bit. The cut works out to a different prog rock jam. It’s got a lot of energy. It’s catchy, but there is still a lot of meat here. This really works out to a progressive rock powerhouse later. At times I’m reminded of Yes. Other parts make me think of Genesis. Still, it’s an original sound.
Turbulence (Paradigm Shift)
Atmospheric, but mysterious and ominous sounds open this. Guitar solos in melodic ways as it builds outward. Eventually we’re taken out into some melodic and powerful progressive rock. This is quite an epic journey, working through a number of changes and alterations. It’s really a great progressive rock tune in the style of old school prog, but with some modern elements, too. 
Personal Universe
Intricate and pretty, this is more or less a progressive rock ballad. It has quite a bit of energy, though. It’s a little spacey and the vocals really shine here. This is a powerful tune with a lot of emotion packed into it. The sound gets harder edged and crunchy as this continues. There are some powerful symphonic prog moments as this works through instrumentally later.
Origins
This powers in a bit metallic, but after the introduction it drops back to a mellower, but still rather metallic, movement for the vocals. It gets powered up as they continue, but before the four minute mark they drop it way down to extremely mellow music. After the vocals work across it gets more energy infused, and after a short drop back, they explode back out into powerhouse progressive rock from there.
Disc 2
Killing Fields
Dramatic, theatric and powerful, this is has a really awesome opening movement. They work this thing into some different movements as it continues. The bass really shines here, but not to the detriment of anything else. This is a killer crunchy prog piece.
Forever Young
There is more of an AOR mainstream progressive rock vibe here. I love some of the keyboard bits on this tune. Somehow this tune makes me think of Saga a bit. They drop it back later to a slower, mellower movement. There is some great melodic instrumental work in that section.
Borders
This melodic prog piece has a lot of keyboards. It’s rather ballad-like and quite satisfying. It doesn’t have a lot of change to it, but it works well.
Solitary Witness
There’s a Celtic styled instrumental section. Then they move out into a ballad-like movement that makes me think of Season’s End era Marillion. The cut grows out in that general style. Although there are some minor variations, this stays pretty true to that concept until much later when it moves into the instrumental section. Keyboards drive that.
Ta Jiang
At sixteen and a half minutes in length, this is a real epic. The introduction and first vocal section are both fairly mellow. They work out into a powerhouse prog jam from there, though. This continues evolving from there. It’s a real masterwork in many ways. Around the five minute mark it drops way down to a keyboard only section. Then it grows out from there after a while into a new symphonic prog movement. It remains somewhat mellow as the next vocals come across. They take that general concept and work it through variants. Themes emerge to be replaced and then return later. Organ guides into a new direction around the nine and a half minute mark. A smoking hot progressive rock jam emerges from there. Guitar and keyboards both get to show off at different times along this road.  Around the thirteen minute mark it drops to a piano movement. It grows back out to fast paced progressive rock from there. By around 15 and a half minutes in they drop it back down to a mellow keyboard dominated section that eventually takes it to its close.
Embrace
Keyboards open this and they take that into a pretty straightforward mid-tempo progressive rock movement. This melodic prog piece makes me think of Genesis and Marillion in some ways. It’s got some of the most accessible hooks of the whole set. It’s not until late in the song that they really power this thing up. Even then, it’s more or less like a progressive rock power ballad.
Pinewood Avenue
They waste no time here, powering out into fast paced progressive rock. Again, it makes me think of Saga a bit. The cut evolves from there. There are some moments that remind me of Yes. Somehow the vocals on this make me think of some of Robert Plant’s more melodic Zeppelin stuff at times. There are definitely valid comparisons to be made to Genesis on a lot of this. This really does continue to shift, change and grow, but it’s mostly an organic path. That said, there’s a harder rocking movement later that’s riff driven and seems to emerge from nowhere. They eventually bring that back to the song proper before taking it to its closing.
Narovlya

At over eleven minutes in length, this is another of epic proportions. This starts off with mellow and rather intricate keyboard sections. As the vocals come over the top, I’m definitely reminded of Marillion. It eventually works out to more hard rocking progressive rock, but they keep it shifting, changing and growing. Around the three minute mark they shift it pretty dramatically and move into a mellower section. Again, Marillion seems a valid reference. Eventually that morphs out into a melodic movement with some powerful vocals. It’s quite evocative. Some crunchy prog emerges later in the tune. Although that section holds it for a time, they eventually bring it out into another progressive rock movement that makes me think of Yes a little to eventually end it.

Bed of Nails
This is a rather diverse and dynamic cut, but in a lot of ways it makes me think of a combination of Hogarth era Marillion with more metallic modern prog like Dream Theater. There is definitely some crunch built into this. It has some great hooks, too.

 

 
More CD Reviews
Metal/Prog Metal
Non-Prog
Progressive Rock
 
Google

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2019 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./Beetcafe.com