Sunday, October 19, 2014

New Age Instrumental Review: Trevor Gordon Hall-Mind Heart Fingers

Release Date: September 15, 2014
Label: Independent


Some albums don’t need words. This is one of them. Mind Heart Fingers is Trevor Gordon Hall’s newest album and one that resonates through the soul of the listener. Produced by Windham Hill Records Will Ackerman and production whiz Tom Eaton at Imaginary Road Studios, this album is as deceptively simple as a rising soufflé. Light and airy, it soars over your taste buds in a melody of flavors and experiences.

Gordon’s fifth album, Mind Heart Fingers shows just how talented this artist is. Mellow guitar and intricate finger work bring to life a thoughtful time in “Blue Hour.” Staring off into space, the mind whirls and clicks, taking the machinations of the day and breaking them down into slower moving parts to dissect and understand. This piece is a breath of silence and inner searching for those times when you just need to be introspective and solitary.

“Surviving Ordinary Days” is a mantra for the rest of us. Quirky and light guitar movements accompany the soundtrack to my day…not always graceful in action or thought, but bumbling towards a hopefully successful outcome with hope in my heart and a plucky soul to keep me going. This music says it all. We all want that perfection. We want to get through the ordinary to find the extraordinary so we can breathe it in. Just for a little while before the grind of everyday reaches back up and pulls us under. This piece is a machination of that. Quirky…bopping along and then swimming with the stream to make it where you need to go. Because there is always tomorrow. Because we choose to survive for the ones we love.

“Short Story” is the last track on the album. Just as the title suggests, the piece reminds me of opening a book while you’re curled in a window seat, eager to start a short adventure while you have a moment in between life and car pools. Tentative and well composed, this tender composition brings to life the peaceful joy of a quiet moment in a world that just won’t sit still.

Trevor Gordon Hall is an artist to watch. His work with the wizards of Imaginary Road Studios shows him for what he is—a man who speaks his passion through his guitar. With a few sprinkled instruments and percussion throughout the album, the essential sensation remains the same. Emotion of the everyday expressed through a pluck of string. Mind. Heart. Fingers. Play on.

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: The Blue Hour, Surviving Ordinary Days, Short Story

Tracks:
01. Intro
02. Morning Sidewalk 3.0
03. The Blue Hour
04. The Meeting At the Window
05. Almost Spring
06. The Shining Barrier
07. My Dearest
08. Surviving Ordinary Days
09. The Discipline of Curiosity
10. Midnight and Raining
11. Turning Ruts Into Grooves
12. Short Story

DanaWright, Sr. Staff Writer

October 19, 2014

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Judas Priest In Concert At The Tsongas Center At UMass Lowell

Judas Priest In Concert At The Tsongas Center At UMass Lowell

Lowell, Massachusetts

October 14, 2014



Priest, Priest, Priest…the familiar battle cry from an anxious crowd rings true whenever you attend one of their classic heavy metal concerts. This is the third time I have attended a Judas Priest concert over the last nine years. I can honestly say that every show was fantastic and the band has not lost a step in presenting the old and the new tracks from their enormous catalog.


This tour celebrates their recent release Redeemer of Souls album. After checking out their previous set lists I could see a definite pattern and knew what to expect. So much for expectations…what happened was they decided to mix it all up and provide a hungry audience with a diverse set list spanning the last 40 years of heavy metal. It was a nice surprise to hear songs I never expected to.


The warm up band Steel Panther kicked things off with their over the top “porn rock,” for lack of a better term. I was a bit surprised that Judas Priest would have a band like that open for them. I fail to see the connection to their music as there is a lot more to it than it being just metal. They are talented musicians but their lyrics and in between song banter I could do without. I was glad to see them leave the stage.


The traditional pre-concert song “War Pigs” only ran for a few minutes, not the usual full length before we could hear the Judas Priest guitars bursting out of the speakers. A huge curtain covered the stage while the band played and then it eventually dropped as they got the crowd into a metal fanatic frenzy with “Battle Cry.” 

I was a bit surprised at the subpar turn out for this show. I expected a packed house however there were many empty seats around the venue and even more surprising were the gaps on the main floor where all the head bangers reside. We sat to the left of the stage looking down with an excellent view of all the proceedings.

“Dragonaut” introduced their new material in a live setting and it sounded fantastic as anyone would expect from a seasoned band. Richie Faulkner has stepped up to become the featured guitar player (in place of K.K. Downing) and his youthful energy is like a rock double cappuccino to get your blood pumping. His guitar playing is excellent and Glen Tipton seems to feed of that energy as they do the call and answer guitar licks throughout a show. 


What can one say about Rob Halford?  It is beyond my comprehension how the man continues to sing like he does. His patented screams are legendary and as the night wore on I never heard him falter once, not even after repeated screams within one song. Who would have thought he would still have these abilities at 63 years old? He is a true star and phenomena of the metal scene.


As these heavy metal gods made their way through an impressive range of songs it reached a fever pitch between the audience and band. With Halford stalking the stage from side to side and Faulkner egging everyone on to clap in unison, it was a true team effort as band and audience became one huge wall of sound. It’s a beautiful thing to witness if you are a metal fan.


Old favorites such as “Hell Bent for Leather” and “Breaking the Law” drove everyone crazy with excitement and glee prompting those in attendance to sing along as requested by Mr. Halford. It was great fun and those are can’t miss numbers on any night. The song selection was excellent and well presented as I would have expected from this great band. It was well worth the trip for this music fan.


Halford and this band show no signs of slowing down at this point and that is good news for heavy metal fans worldwide. They are the keepers of the flame right now and continue to burn bright as ever.


Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Founder of Write A Music Review, Rate The Tracks, Prog  Rock Music Talk and New Age Music Reviews



Friday, October 17, 2014

UK Symphonic Rock Quintet Winter In Eden Release Highly Anticipated Third Album COURT OF CONSCIENCE


London, UK - Much to the excitement of music fans worldwide, UK rock quintet Winter in Eden release their highly anticipated third album COURT OF CONSCIENCE on October 16, 2014. Recorded in Holland during 2013, the album contains eleven new songs which builds and further refines the unique style that is Winter in Eden. Featuring compelling vocals, muscular riffs, memorable hooks, swirling keyboards coupled with pounding bass and thunderous drums, the result is powerful, modern and balanced.

Produced by Ruud Jolie (Within Temptation) and mixed by Stefan Helleblad (Within Temptation), the album also features guest vocals by Jermain van der Bogt (For All We Know/Ayreon) and an unmistakable voiceover by multi-award winning Damian Wilson (Threshold/Headspace/Maiden United). 'Court of Conscience' retains the bands signature of thought provoking lyrics mixed with memorable melodies. Whilst no two songs are alike, fans will be delighted to hear that the bands approach to this album is a familiar one. With hard and heavy anthems such as “Knife Edge” and “Toxicate”, more chilled and progressive tracks such as “Burdened” and “It's Not Enough” plus the blues rock of “Affliction”, this album has something for every taste and mood.

Bassist Ian Heddle reveals, “We are really pleased to have the opportunity to release 'Court of Conscience' into the world market. Whilst the digital age has broken down borders and albums can be purchased via download, some people still like to own physical copies. The previous release (Echoes of Betrayal) was only distributed throughout the UK and we would often get messages from fans around the globe asking us to send stuff here, there and everywhere! Thankfully, we now have access to Cherry Red's resources and can actually get the real thing into your favourite store...wherever you are!”

Watch the official video for the track “With Intent” taken from the album here - http://youtu.be/Zt-omW7xwXs

Winter In Eden, a dark yet beautiful cocktail of power and passion. Their music builds from delightful symphonic instrumentals to crunching aggressive Metal. Between 2009 and 2013, the band released two full length albums, two EP’s and have entertained fans throughout the UK and Europe with numerous tours and festival appearances. The debut album 'Awakening' was recognised as one of the albums of the year. The track “Lies”, from 'Echoes of Betrayal' was awarded Classic Rock Magazine's 'track of the day' and they have been nominated in the 'Best New Band' (2012/2013), 'Best Live Act' (2013) and 'Best Female Singer' (2012/2013/2014) categories at the annual Classic Rock Society Awards.

Winter In Eden's energetic live performances have been enjoyed by capacity crowds in the UK at events such as The Cambridge Rock Festival and various Femme Metal Festivals alongside Delain and Revamp. Most recently Winter In Eden have taken their live show into mainland Europe, performing to increasing numbers in the Netherlands and Belgium, playing with acts such as Stream of Passion and Maiden uniteD.

Winter In Eden is:

Vicky Johnson - Vocals
Steve Johnson - Keyboards
Samuel Cull - Guitars
Ian Heddle - Bass
Steve Hauxwell – Drums

“Winter In Eden are the best female-fronted symphonic rock band Britain has to offer right now” - Classic Rock Magazine

“Albums as wonderful as this one from new British bands do not come along every day. It has been a complete revelation to me” - Fireworks

“The band stands out for their song writing, their vocals and their musicianship. And they're British too. Every song on here is first class” - Powerplay

“Fabulous set by a band destined for greatness” - Classic Rock Society

“All the quality and all the potential” - Dominion/Terroriser

Tracks:

1. KNIFE EDGE
2. WITH INTENT
3. CRITICAL MASS PART 1 - BURDENED
4. TOXICATE
5. ORDER OF YOUR FAITH
6. IT’S NOT ENOUGH
7. BEFORE IT BEGAN
8. THE SCRIPT
9. CONSTANT TOMORROWS
10. BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
11. AFFLICTION

Official website - www.winterineden.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Winter-In-Eden/110545798972772
Contact: enquiries@winterineden.com
Management and Bookings In the UK: Lycan Media Group
info@lycanmedia.co.uk
Outside the UK: JBM Events
info@jbmevents.com

To purchase Winter In Eden's 'Court of Conscience':
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Court-Of-Conscience-Winter-Eden/dp/B00MW67KSK/
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Court-Of-Conscience-Winter-Eden/dp/B00MW67KSK/

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/court-of-conscience/id895157080
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Court-Conscience-Winter-In-Eden/dp/B00LJGUB58

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Instrumental Progressive Rock Review: Elabaural-A Journey of Intrigue

Release Date: 4th July 2014
Label: Indie
This album from the band Elabaural, A Journey of Intrigue, is most definitely a first. I receive many albums for review from both known bands and bands/artists that would have slipped under my audio radar and Elabaurel would fit into this latter category. What makes this particular band more unusual than most is that they hail from The Ancient One’s hometown, Kirkcaldy in Fife, Scotland.

Elabaural is a three piece instrumental prog metal band, formed originally as DepthCharge in 2003, but changed their name to Elabaural in 2005. This came about after the original band “lost” their vocalist, and subsequent material written was channeled towards instrumental music. At the moment the band are only a 2 piece as they are currently searching for someone to take over the drum stool, and I would hazard a guess that the two members of the band are related, as Arran MacInnes plays guitar and Alister MacInnes plays bass. The band have cited a variety of influences including Dream Theater, Opeth, Circus Maximus, Rush and Porcupine Tree.

A Journey of Intrigue is a 10 track album with a total playing time of around 71 minutes. The tracks vary a fair bit in length with 3 tracks in excess of 10 minutes, with track 4, “BlackJack,” the longest at 20:33 minutes and the shortest track on offer is track 6, “Adrift” at only just over the 2 minute mark (2:10).

The opening track on A Journey of Intrigue is “Genesis” (5:36) and starts with some superb solo guitar work with little phrases and runs before the cymbals give a little backdrop to proceedings and the bass notes become more regular. The track continues in the same vein and is hugely atmospheric. The whole sound changes around the 4 minute mark, becoming a more driving style with the drums and bass pushing the track along. An excellent starting track and bodes well for the upcoming tracks.

“Precipice” (4:47) is started with some atmospheric electronic beeps before the bass has a gentle passage, then the guitar slams into action. Just after the minute mark the driving guitar riff has taken over and there are passages which simply thunder along. I did find that around the 3 minute mark, my attention was beginning to drift a little as the track seemed to be losing a bit of direction. An excellent little guitar phrase drew the attention back, but then the track returned to earlier ground and was then off.

The third, and strangely titled, track, “Population, Montgomery”  (4:20) is more like the opening track with some exquisite guitar playing, backed up superbly by the rhythm engine within the band. Around the halfway point there is a very jazzy laid back feel to the track, which works well and this then builds slowly until the track takes it’s leave.

The other shorter tracks to be found on A Journey of Intrigue, “Adrift” (2:10), “Suspended In A Painting” (6:58), “Mind Cry” (2:17) and “Vorcha” (3:04), all maintain the listeners interest in different ways. “Adrift” succeeds by being an almost Spanish/classical styled guitar led track, “Suspended In A Painting” moves the tempo up a few notches highlighting more of the guitar playing by Arran, “”Mind Cry” is a slightly slower jazzy styled number and “Vorcha” is a slab of power chords and chunky guitar riffs.

The main disappointment I found with A Journey of Intrigue was that the long tracks, “BlackJack” (20:33), “Trial By Torrent” (10:15) and “The Raid” (11:27) tended to suffer a similar fate to track 2, “Precipice,” in that the interest level wasn’t maintained. All 3 long tracks show some excellent skill by the musicians, as witnessed in the short tracks, but stretched out to over 10 minutes the guitar/bass/drums complement didn’t provide enough of a variation to maintain the listener interest. Too many times I found myself waiting for a vocalist to take the track onwards.
 
An instrumental album of any genre needs to have something that makes it stand out, basically something that “grabs the listener by the throat and shouts Listen!” My personal opinion is that an instrumental album is a very difficult album to be successful with because of this.

For the most part, I found A Journey of Intrigue to be a very good debut album, as far as the short tracks were concerned and I would be keen to catch a follow up release to see where Elabaural are going as they show great potential. Arran can certainly handle a guitar and the supporting bass playing of Alister and drums, by person or machine unknown, complements the guitar work. The album has great atmospheric short tracks, and perhaps if the long tracks had been curtailed a little, bearing in mind the 71 minute playing time, and an album of length 50 minutes had been produced, I think I would have been better satisfied.

As always, the views I give are personal views and are likely to differ from many other people, so I would suggest giving A Journey of Intrigue a few listens and decide for yourself.

3.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks:  Genesis, Adrift, Suspended In A Painting

Jim “The Ancient One” Lawson-Sr. Reviewer Prog Rock Music Talk

October 16, 2014

Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

District 97 Featuring Legendary King Crimson/Asia Vocalist John Wetton Release One More Red Night: Live In Chicago CD – OUT NOW!


London, UK – Prog fans rejoice! A new live CD capturing a set of King Crimson songs performed by District 97 and former King Crimson lead singer John Wetton has been released on Primary Purpose via Cherry Red Records.

'One More Red Night: Live In Chicago' includes three songs from the iconic landmark album 'Red’; which inspired many musicians including Kurt Cobain. This CD also captures several other well-known songs from the three King Crimson studio albums John Wetton played and sang on, plus their earlier hit “21st Century Schizoid Man”. This is the first release of this recording and features many tracks which are now rarely heard live.

“I've said it before, and I maintain that D97 is the best young progressive band around right now. Gifted players, great material, and a brilliant, charismatic singer in Leslie Hunt. Their shows are an exciting pleasure to attend, and I am proud to work, and be associated with them.” - John Wetton, Annapolis, October 1,2014.

District 97's drummer and 'One More Red Night' producer, Jonathan Schang, says “The first Crimson song I ever played live with John was 'Lament'. To hear 'that voice' coming from right in front of me, seemingly made only stronger by the passage of time, was an experience I shall never forget. Getting to know John more closely, both as a musician and a human being, is an honor and a privilege. I'm thrilled that our joint interpretations of his iconic work with King Crimson are now available for all to enjoy.”

TRACK LIST:

1. ONE MORE RED NIGHTMARE
2. THE GREAT DECEIVER
3. LAMENT
4. THE NIGHT WATCH
5. FALLEN ANGEL
6. BOOK OF SATURDAY
7. 21ST CENTURY SCHIZOID MAN
8. STARLESS
9. EASY MONEY

To purchase District 97 & John Wetton 'One More Red Night: Live In Chicago':
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/More-Night-District-With-Wetton/dp/B00N3SE9US/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/More-Night-District-With-Wetton/dp/B00N3SE9US/
Cherry Red: http://www.cherryred.co.uk/shopexd.asp?id=4842
iTunes US: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/one-more-red-night-live-in/id912870501
iTunes UK: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/one-more-red-night-live-in/id912870501

District 97’s last album was Trouble with Machines, features a guest appearance by John Wetton on the mini-rock opera, "The Perfect Young Man":
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Trouble-With-Machines-CD-DVD/dp/B0082GN8Z8
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/trouble-with-machines/id545414289

John Wetton’s last solo project was a 2 CD re-issue of Monkey Business and Jack-knife, the former of which includes many of his early 1970s versions of tracks that went on to become some of King Crimson’s most iconic songs:

http://www.amazon.com/Jack-Knife-Monkey-Business-John-Wetton/dp/B00I4583HK/
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jack-Knife-Monkey-Business-John-Wetton/dp/B00I4583HK/
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/jack-knife/id889141024
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/monkey-business-feat.-richard/id889182992

Official websites: www.district97.net & www.johnwetton.com
Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158 (USA), glassonyonpr@gmail.com

Progressive Rock Review: Opeth-Pale Communion

Release Date: August 25, 2014
Label: Roadrunner

Opeth is the type of band that is a league of its own.  They are a progressive rock band whose sound has been shaped by a wide range of influences, including death metal, black metal, jazz, blues, and classical, and over the past twenty five years they have given the music world masterpiece after masterpiece.  From their 1994 debut with Orchid to their seminal 2001 release of Blackwater Park and to their move toward a more progressive rock sound with 2008’s Watershed and 2011’s Heritage, Opeth is always an innovative and exciting band.

Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, Opeth formed in 1990.  After a few line-up changes throughout the years, the band currently consists of Mikael Åkerfeldt (vocals, guitars), Martin Mendez (bass), Martin Axenrot (drums), Fredrik Åkesson (guitars), and Joakim Svalberg (keyboards).  Pale Communion is the band’s eleventh album and another stunning achievement, featuring eight stunning tracks and two live special edition cover tracks of Black Sabbath’s “Solitude” and Hansson de Wolfe United’s “Var kommer barner in.”  With its mix of metal, hard rock, and progressive rock, Pale Communion stands as a sublime testament to Opeth’s musical development.  

Beginning listeners on this musical journey is the dazzling “Eternal Rains Will Come.” It has a wonderful progression from its wild and hard-hitting opening to a more subdued middle section with a slight up swing at the end.  It is exciting and almost dreamlike in quality, and makes for one memorable opening track.  The album moves in a swift and pleasant fashion with the melodic “Cusps of Eternity.”  There is a slight menace behind the music to give the song a dark edge. 

The epic “Moon Above, Sun Below” is a tower that looms large over the album.  It is a truly atmospheric song that calls to mind barren wastelands and windswept worlds with the forlorn power of the music.  There are moments of intensity that come in short bursts, but the slower moments are the backbone of the song with the emotion that underlies them.  “Elysian Woes” is just right in its sense of loneliness and incurable melancholy.  Taking its name and inspiration from the Italian progressive rock band of the same name, “Goblin” is one instrumental that is a delight with its strangeness and would certainly not be out of place in an Argento film.  It calls to mind tense chase scenes through long corridors and crooked staircases. 

“River” is the right mix of light and dark.  It starts bright and sunny like the soundtrack to a pleasant afternoon before the melancholic lyrics really hit and that is just the first part.  The second half of the song is faster and darker like storm clouds swooping in blotting out the sun.  “Voice of Treason” is another dark and heavy song that is sure to be a favorite.  Its menacing atmosphere is matched by the beauty of its harmonies.  The album ends with the breathtaking “Faith in Others.”  From the heart wrenching vocals to the acoustic guitars, it is the perfect touch of melodic melancholy that fans will love.

I think that Pale Communion is a positive example of this band’s musical evolution.  It is does not sound like their old stuff, it is not Blackwater Park or Damnation, and why should it be?  It you want to hear that sound, those albums will always be there to be listened to.  The new does not take away from or taint the old in any way.  Artists need to progress and experiment or else their music will become stale and lifeless, which is something that is easily forgotten when it comes to music of any genre.  As Åkerfeldt says, “It would be complete death for me as a musician to just do one thing.”  Thankfully, he and his bandmates do not and let their diverse influences take them to new musical heights. 

Opeth’s Pale Communion is a fine piece of work with some stunning music.  It is just what one has come to expect from this band.  This album is just another brilliant step in their long and fruitful career, and wherever their sound is headed in the years to come, I will be there to listen.  If Pale Communion is any indication of what is to come, I would bet that it is going to be fantastic.  This is one 2014 album that should not be overlooked. 

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Eternal Rains Will Come, Moon Above, Sun Below, Voice of Treason

Brian McKinnon

October 14, 2014

Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk

Friday, October 10, 2014

Progressive Rock Review: Landmarq-Origins: A Landmarq Anthology 1991-2014

Release Date: 24th June 2014
Label:  Synergy/Cherry Red Records

With the band approaching 25 years in “the business” next year, the UK band, Landmarq have issued an anthology album entitled, Origins: A Landmarq Anthology 1991-2014. The band has previously issued 5 studio albums and 3 live albums, but now we have a compilation of the best of these releases since the debut in 1991. This new release, Origins, is a double album with one disc dedicated to the “newer” Landmarq, featuring Tracy Hutchins as lead vocalist and the second disc is the earlier material, which features Damian Wilson as the lead singer.


Disc one of the set is subtitled “The Tracy Years” and features material from 1998 onwards and is a mixture of studio and live recordings, and includes a new track, “Origins,” specially written for this release. The musicians involved on this disc are Uwe D’Rose (guitars), Steve Gee (bass, fretless bass, vocals), Dave Wagstaffe (drums, percussion, vocals), Martin Varty (piano, keyboards, violin, viola, vocals) and Tracy Hutchins (lead vocals). Disc Two, subtitled “The Damian Years” features material recorded on their first 3 releases, Solitary Witness (1992), Infinity Parade (1993) and The Vision Pit (1995) and apart from Uwe, Steve Gee and Dave, the band also included, Steve Leigh (keyboards) and Damian Wilson (lead vocals), with Damian replacing the original Landmarq vocalist, Rob Lewis-Jones in 1991.

Over the 18 tracks spread over the two discs of Origins, all the previously released albums are well represented and the set has a running time of around 146 minutes, with each disc very close to 73 minutes. The shortest track on offer is “After I Died Somewhere” from disc 1 at 4:42 minutes and the longest track appears on disc 2 and is “Ta Ji’ang,” playing in excess of 16 minutes (16:31).

Dealing with the discs in chronological order, disc 2, The Damian Years, covers the “early” material and gives a terrific insight into how the band evolved even in the short time of the initial 3 album releases covering 1992-1995, prior to the vocalist joining Threshold. The earliest tracks, “Killing Fields” (4:52), “Forever Young” (8:54) and “Borders” (5:01) show superb guitar work from Uwe, crisp clear vocals from Damien, some majestic keyboards from Marty and moments that sweep from the heavily driven to the lighter ethereal. Moving onto the tracks from Infinity Parade, it seems strange to find a track that bears the same title as the previous album, “Solitary Witness” (6:50) but this is repeated in albums 3 and 4 as well. ”Solitary Witness” shows, in just under 7 minutes, the maturity of the band and is an excellent slab of progressive rock. “Ta Ji’ang” (16.31) is in a very different style with the band pushing the boundaries and delivering an epic piece of music which encompasses the floating ethereal passages before moving effortlessly into the harder driven passages. “Embrace” (6:27) shows another side of the band with a slower paced builder of a track, stunningly melodic and showcasing the superb guitar of Uwe. Two years further on, The Vision Pit, continues to show the band growing musically within the examples of “Pinewood Avenue” (6:25), “Narovlya” (11:11) and “Bed of Nails” (7:14). The fact that the tracks are relatively long allows the band to integrate more within the tracks, to allow the music to evolve naturally. They are testament to the ability that the band now possesses.

Moving to the newer material on disc 1, The Tracy Years, there are a couple of tracks from the earlier albums “Tailspin” (5:11) and “After I Died Somewhere” (4:42), from Infinity Parade and The Vision Pit respectively, but are live versions featuring the “new” female vocalist. I thought that this was a clever way to integrate the changing phases of Landmarq. With the guitarist and the rhythm engine of the band remaining intact, the overall “sound” of the band continues the evolution evident in the earlier albums, with perhaps, at least in the tracks contained here, a little more emphasis on the keyboards and, of course, the change in the vocal delivery. Tracy Hutchins has a range of delivery in that she can be forceful, powerful and attention grabbing with her vocals, but can sound angelic, child-like and fragile at other times. The band highlight 4 tracks from Science Of Coincidence, “Lighthouse” (10:55), “Science Of Coincidence” (5:17), “Between Sleeping and Dreaming” (9:23) and “Heritage” (5:58), with the latter 2 tracks again live performances. While shorter tracks are interesting with some terrific hooks, I feel the band sound more comfortable within the context of longer excursions, and “Lighthouse” is an example of this. The newest studio album is the source of 2 excellent tracks, “Turbulence” (12:29) with some majestic keyboards and “Personal Universe” (7:49) which is just one of those tracks that gets “inside your head.” The new track, “Origins” (11:01) brings proceedings to a close with another example of a band that is very comfortable with where they are at the moment. It will be interesting to hear a new album carrying on from the “Origins” track.

Anthology albums are primarily designed to pull in new followers and “Origins” is an excellent example of this genre. Covering all phases in the history of the band, Landmarq, this release should do exactly what it is expected to do, boost the number of the band’s followers. This is a terrific selection of tracks which never let up or flags over the 2 discs, and shows the excellence of this, I believe very under-rated, band. 

Both stickers, “One To Buy” and “The Experience will last Forever,” adorn the front of this album. If you have not listened to the music of Landmarq, the release of Origins means that you now have no excuse and after a few listens, I can almost guarantee you will realize just what you have been missing out on.
 
5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Ta Ji’ang, Narovlya, Turbulence

Tracks:
 
Disc 1:

Science of Coincidence
Lighthouse
Between Sleeping and Dreaming
Tailspin
After I Died Somewhere
Heritage
Turbulence
Personal Universe
Origins


Disc 2:
 
Killing Fields
Forever Young
Borders
Solitary Witness
Ta Ji’ang
Embrace
Pinewood Avenue
Narovlya
Bed of Nails

Jim “The Ancient One” Lawson-Sr. Reviewer Prog Rock Music Talk

October 10, 2014

Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk