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Marching Mind

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Marching Mind The Sickness And The Theory album cover
3.67 | 42 ratings | 5 reviews | 29% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Conception (2:07)
2. Vertigo Of Silence (8:59)
3. Reactivation (6:55)
4. Borne Upon Tears (3:51)
5. Steps Of Avaran (8:15)
6. Astral Transmission (8:02)
7. Locust Enigma (9:55)
8. Surge Subterra (7:23)
9. Convergence (13:02)

Total Time: 68:29

Line-up / Musicians

- Will Goodall / bass, backing vocals
- Sebastien Leger / drums, percussion, timpani, backing vocals
- Chris Neal / electric & acoustic guitars, backing vocals
- Jeremy Tardif / vocals, acoustic piano, keyboards, Hammond organ, glockenspiel

Releases information

CD Fivebyfive Records (2012 Canada)

Thanks to rivertree for the addition
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MARCHING MIND The Sickness And The Theory ratings distribution

(42 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)

MARCHING MIND The Sickness And The Theory reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by VanVanVan
4 stars A very impressive release from this somewhat under-the-radar band. I'll confess that I hadn't heard of them until they popped up on the forum, but their self-described brand of "prog/grunge/metal" intrigued me and some listens on their bandcamp convinced me that I would be remiss not to investigate further.

Well, at this point I can certainly say that those further investigations were not wasted time. While I really know nothing about grunge and thus can't comment on how accurate the band's self-labeling is, I can definitely say that this is a very interesting release, and one that certainly doesn't fall easily into any one genre. Gorgeous melodic piano is nearly ubiquitous on the album, but there's also a huge amount of very technical music that at times comes close to math-metal. The result is a sound that's very hard to describe and impossible to shoehorn into one label: melody combines with technicality in the best way possible and as a result the album ends up being very good.

The album starts out on a very promising note, with solo piano leading the way in "Conception." The track proves that you don't need complicated instrumentation to create good music, with compelling melodies that remind a bit of Phideaux and a remarkably "full" feel given that there sounds to be only one instrument playing. It's a great opening track despite its sparseness and it sets the stage very well for what is to come.

"Vertigo of Silence" starts with a bit of a slow burn, beginning with a restrained but brilliant percussion, bass, and piano interplay. There's an almost jazzy vibe to the track, which is slightly undercut by brief, percussive bursts of heavy guitar. When vocals come in they're extremely well suited to the music, slightly restrained and maintaining the air of mystery that the instruments have established. At about the 3 minute mark the track abruptly switches gears, with a quickened tempo and a punchy guitar and bass part that contains the slightest hints of Rush influence. Another motif appears at around 5 minutes, with heavier riffing guitars and growing intensity in the vocals. This eventually morphs into a section that's almost math-metal, and the vocals finally unleash their full power, throwing aside any of their previous restraint in favor of powerful, emotive rawness. A powerful instrumental that's Dream Theater-esque in both its complexity and its overall sound helps bring the song to its close.

"Reactivation" wastes no time in getting started, immediately launching into a frenetic riff accompanied by some truly manic drumming. The song has an almost thrashy feel to it, with some stylistic similarity to bands such as Atheist or perhaps even Death, though all the vocals here are clean. However, there are moments here that are far more melodic than most of those bands' output, including an awesome instrumental section in the middle of the track that swings from jazzy soloing to groove-metal-esque instrumental interplay. Again, comparisons to Dream Theater really cannot be avoided during this instrumental section, but the track as a whole is far from a clone piece.

"Borne Upon Tears" puts the piano back at the forefront of the track, to great effect. Powerful vocals give the track a great deal of emotional heft, and the piano is used incredibly to give the track a sense of anticipation. In fact, when all the other instruments join in midway through the track, it feels like an incredibly triumphant moment, in no small part due to the anticipatory ambience set up by the piano. A great vocal melody ties the track together, and a variety of solos from both piano and guitar help flesh it out despite its (relatively) short run- time.

"Steps of Avaran" also begins with a solo piano introduction, introducing some gorgeous melodies before acoustic guitar comes in and an amazing duet begins, backed by some percussion and bass. When vocals come in, they're restrained but emotional, just as they were in the beginning of "Vertigo of Silence." However, the vocalist is given a chance to break loose during a chorus section, and the brief bursts of raw emotional delivery contrast very well with the more controlled verses. Midway through the track changes its motif, ramping up the heaviness and intensity with sledgehammer riffs and some still-gorgeous piano accompaniment. A really stellar guitar solo takes up much of the beginning of the second half of the track, followed by an almost classical sounding piano interlude. An instrumental section closes out the track, with some excellent interaction between bass, piano, guitar, and percussion.

"Astral Transmission" begins with an air of mystery, with ominous acoustic guitar and bass creating an almost haunting atmosphere before some extremely heavy guitar chords come crashing in. Some vocals are added over this before the track takes on a more jazzy tone, which is juxtaposed brilliantly with almost grunge-y vocals. The track as a whole has a very unique sound to it, with nods to jazz, metal, alt-rock, and even some more classical- sounding piano sections. Yet another excellent solo piano section closes out the track.

"Locust Enigma" transitions seamlessly from this, with the same solo piano beginning the track before the launching into a complex, prog-metal instrumental that again reminds one of Dream Theater. Top notch playing and excellent arrangement (piano against guitar riffing is a combination I will never tire of) ensure that this intro section is compelling before vocals enter. "Locust Enigma" is one of the heavier songs appearing on the album, with most of the sections (even vocal ones) featuring heavy riffing and frenetic playing.

"Surge Subterra" starts off with a "punchier" intro, with almost groovy piano, guitar and percussion playing off one another brilliantly. The track switches its feel a bit once vocals come in, taking on a more standard, riff-based theme. Another new motif emerges at a little after the three minute mark, with the guitar taking on a cinematic, driving line that eventually develops into another slightly DT-esque instrumental section. The track ends with some great guitar solong over some climactic percussion and keyboards that eventually spiral into one final crash of sound.

The final epic "Convergence" begins just as the album itself did, with a melodic, dramatic solo piano section that brilliantly blends atmosphere with melody. As with many of the songs here, though, the song quickly changes into a heavier number, with technical riffs and raw, powerful vocals blending together to create the kind of "prog-grunge" sound that the band labels itself with. I have to emphasize again how impressive the playing is; the riffs and fills are almost mechanically precise, but the musicians don't lose any emotion in their flawless execution. A more melodic section appears at around the 9 minute mark and carries through to the end of the track, with crashing but cinematic guitars giving way to piano accompaniment and almost Floydian guitar soloing. The final minute of the track is really quite beautiful, with that same gorgeous piano that started the album also closing it on a quite delicate note.

So overall, The Sickness and the Theory is highly recommended listening for any fan of progressive metal (and perhaps even for non-metal fans-I imagine that Marching Mind would have a good deal of crossover appeal). Really an excellent blend of emotion, precision, melody, and technicality, and one that should leave the listener with a very satisfied feeling upon the album's conclusion. I certainly hope to hear more from Marching Mind in the future.


Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'The Sickness And The Theory' - Marching Mind (7/10)

In all my searching to find great new progressive rock from Scandinavia to Japan, it's pretty refreshing to hear a band from my own city of Vancouver, Canada. Oddly enough, before talking with their guitarist Chris Neal and receiving this album in the mail, I had never heard of Marching Mind. Perhaps I've been too far-sighted to have been aware of the progressive scene in my own backyard, and it appears that this city has a great representative for prog, not to mention everyone's obvious first choice for their favourite prog-metal reviewer! Although the band only dropped their debut in 2010, Marching Mind have fostered an excellent musical tightness on their second release, entitled 'The Sickness And The Theory'. Fans of bands like Voivod and Tool will find much to appreciate with this one.

Although the album is close to being seventy minutes long- a trait that's usually only excusable if you're Dream Theater- 'The Sickness And The Theory' does not feeling overbearing.. Marching Mind do stick with their chosen style of technical art-grunge throughout, but with plenty of dynamic between the soft piano intermissions, melodic riffs and vicious prog-outs, 'The Sickness And The Theory' seems to have a well-intentioned sense of pace and flow. Musically, Marching Mind resonates most with the legendary Tool. Marching Mind do take a more technical path than Tool, but the band's darkly atmospheric guitar riffs and vocalist Jeremy Tardif's Maynard-esque voice betrays a heavy influence from the folks that brought us 'Lateralus'.

The band bring a grungy tone and performance to their music, and while that might not sound conducive to using more traditionally 'proggy' tricks, but they pull it off well. The first full-length piece 'Vertigo of Silence' is a feast of strange riffs and time signatures that could have been pulled out of Dream Theater's catalogue. Most of the band's songs use similar structures, often playing up the constant change between softness and heaviness. With the average song length being around eight or nine minutes however, it often feels like many of these tracks may have benefited from a little editing. This is obviously not to say that Marching Mind would have been best left with confining themselves to the four minute wonder format, but some of the slower, more vocal-oriented moments are noticeably less interesting than when the band are playing full-force.

'The Sickness And The Theory' definitely deserves a listen from anyone open to the angrier side of prog metal. It's exciting to hear a band like Marching Mind running wild with their ambitions and taking on nine, or fourteen minute song structures so readily. With their hopeful third record, it would be great to hear this vision refined and consolidated a little, but even as it stands, Marching Mind are a force to be reckoned with.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "The Sickness And The Theory" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Canadian, Vancouver based progressive rock/metal act Marching Mind. The album was released through Fivebyfive Records in February 2012. Compared to the bandīs self-titled debut album, which had a catchy and imidate nature (while still challenging the listener with progressive ideas and structures), "The Sickness And The Theory" is quite the ambitious and challenging size.

...weīre talking a nearly 70 minutes long concept album, with an emphasis on dynamic playing and atmosphere. While the debut album featured a lot of spacy sounding synths to go along with the sci-fi imagery/lyrics, the keyboard weapon of choice on "The Sickness And The Theory" is piano. The piano actually has a very dominant role on the album, which provides the music with a pretty different sound compared to the more guitar driven debut album. Itīs probably the consequence of "The Sickness And The Theory" being written more as a group effort, where the debut was mostly written by guitarist Chris Neal and lead vocalist/keyboard player Jeremy Tardif. Especially the latter seems to have been given more room and influence on the sound.

The tracks generally appear more progressive in structure than the case was on the debut and they are also longer. Most tracks on the album are between 7 and 13 minutes long. The short piano intro "Conception" and the epic and melancholic "Borne Upon Tears" (which in some ways reminds me of "I Remember" from "A Social Grace (1990)" by Psychotic Waltz) are the only exceptions. To begin with I wasnīt too impressed by the often structurally complex tracks as I didnīt think they stood out enough and because the melodies didnīt imidiately click with me. "The Sickness And The Theory" is what Iīd call a grower though, and itīs certainly an album that both requires and deserves multible spins. At 68:29 minutes itīs maybe sligthly too long for itīs own good, but on the other hand I wouldnīt want to miss out on some of the closing tracks like "Locust Enigma" or the 13 minutes long "Convergence". So while especially the songlines/vocal melodies take a while to get into and remember and the song structures are at times so complex that after a couple of minutes you begin to doubt if itīs the same track still playing, "The Sickness And The Theory" is still a very strong effort by Marching Mind. The fact that the musicianship is excellent and the sound production professional and well sounding arenīt exactly issues either.

I like the fact that even though artists like Rush and Voivod and various early- to mid nineties Seattle rock acts are an audible influence, Marching Mind still have a sound of their own and with "The Sickness And The Theory" they prove that they still develop on that sound. This is a "true" progressive rock/metal act continuously pushing boundaries and exploring new territory. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

Review by Progulator
2 stars At first, The Sickness and the Theory by Canada's Marching mind seemed very promising. Marching Mind was proving themselves early on to have an ultra-modern sound that spanned the boundaries of prog rock and metal without feeling like they were pigeonholed into either one. I quickly caught on to what some really good songs that were catchy, proggy, and really grooved. Then what happened? Nothing. That's the problem. The Sickness and the Theory just didn't seem to take me anywhere. What seemed inspiring at the start grew stale as the tracks went on, until the album felt like there wasn't really anything that stood out, getting more and more monotonous. I expect that fans with leanings towards a modern and somewhat commercial sound (especially in the vocals) will enjoy this album, but somehow it didn't bring me into transcendent territory that good prog always does for me.

Latest members reviews

5 stars I enjoy my cup of tea and classical prog like Yes and Floyd. However my tastes have began to grow heavier. This band satisfies in so many ways. Combine great piano and vocals with metal guitar that is more then that generic sound and add proggy lyrics which I still have to decipher and you have a ... (read more)

Report this review (#753751) | Posted by TomShutter | Tuesday, May 15, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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