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Landmarq - Infinity Parade CD (album) cover

INFINITY PARADE

Landmarq

 

Neo-Prog

3.26 | 50 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars The more you seek the more you lose?

Produced and engineered by Karl Groom and Clive Nolan, Infinity Parade was Landmarq's second studio album. The line-up from the first album remains intact here with the great Damian Wilson on lead vocals. Wilson also sang in Groom's Prog Metal band Threshold on their debut album that was released the same year as Infinity Parade as well as one further Threshold album, he later became a member of Rick Wakeman's band. Wilson would stay with Landmarq for one further studio album before being replaced by Tracy Hitchings. Uwe D'Rose, Steve Leigh and Dave Wagstaffe on guitars, keyboards and drums respectively were all, just like Hitchings, previous members of Quasar before they ended up in Landmarq. Clive Nolan is credited for orchestration on one track as well as for the sleeve design (it is however unclear which one, as my CD version has a different cover from the one shown here)!

On the first few listens, Infinity Parade was something of a disappointment for me after the band's excellent debut album from the previous year. After more listens, however, I began enjoying it more and more. It is not up to par with the first-rate Solitary Witness album, but this is still a worthy album in its own right. It was not easy to get my hands on a copy of this album and I had to pay a lot for it, but it was worth both the wait and the money.

The album opens with a song called Solitary Witness which was the title of the band's previous album. A track called Infinity Parade would later appear on the band's next album, The Vision Pit, and a song called The Vision Pit would appear on the band's fourth album, Science Of Coincidence! Since the latter album also has track with that title, this tradition will not continue on the band's in-progress fifth album. This opener begins with appealing (keyboard generated?) bagpipes and marching drums creating strong feel of the Scottish highlands. The rest of the song features a strong vocal, nice guitars and keyboards and is overall a very nice tune. It does however lack the power of the opener from the aforementioned album with the same name as this song.

Gaia's Waltz is a bit more dramatic and it somewhat better exploits the vocal talents of Wilson and the excellent guitar skills of D'Rose. The short up tempo instrumental Landslide is however the first real opportunity for D'Rose to shine and he sounds a bit like Brian May for a while. Apart from the excellent guitar work however, this number does little for me. The 16 and a half minute Ta'Jiang is the first track that recalls the darker mood of the debut album, and this track is also the album's centerpiece. I am reminded somewhat of Arena's epic Moviedrome track. Some of this album's best moments can be found within this epic song and there are some really excellent bits and pieces here. However, I would say that it is perhaps slightly too long for its own good and it does not hold together quite as well as I would have wanted.

Tailspin (Let Go The Line) lightens things up a bit and this slow song tends to get a little bit dull towards the end. Eight and a half minutes was surely overkill for this rather one dimensional song. The More You Seek The More You Lose is a more energetic and eccentric tune. The chorus is somewhat banal but there are also some great bits particularly during the verses and instrumental breaks. The album ends with Embrace which is a piano-based power ballad, again with a strong vocal embellished here with female backing vocals but sadly an overly bombastic and rather trite chorus. It is however saved towards the very end by a strong guitar solo.

While certainly not up to par with the excellent debut, I recommend this second Landmarq album to anyone who enjoyed their first album. Infinity Parade is thus a nice companion piece to Solitary Witness, but not the optimal place to start your off with Landmarq.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |

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