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Landmarq - Turbulence - Live In Poland (DVD) CD (album) cover





3.20 | 18 ratings

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usa prog music
3 stars Landmarq were at the forefront of the second wave of English neo-progressive rock bands that had their formative years during the late '80s and early '90s. During that time their line- up remained stable with Damian Wilson handling lead vocals on their first three studio releases. During the late '90s Wilson's solo career began taking off (performing in the British stage production of Les Miserables, working with Rick Wakeman, etc) so for their fourth studio album (Science of Coincidence), Landmarq recruited Tracy Hitchings. The band gelled and as two subsequent live albums proved, Tracy breathed new life into Landmarq's music (both newer material and older Wilson-era songs).

So, here they are nearly ten years on from Science of Coincidence and the band has released their third live album; a concert from 2005 consistently of almost entirely un- released material. To understand this, one must look behind the scenes. At the time the band was asked to perform in Katowice, Poland for the filming of a DVD, they were well underway with the writing of their next album and wanted to test the material in front of an audience (and also not duplicate as much material that had appeared on their previous live releases).

Shortly after the DVD was released, Tracy was diagnosed with cancer. For the next few years the band's future remained in limbo while Tracy devoted her energies to coping with and eventually overcoming the disease. Now in 2009 as work once again resumes on the fifth studio album, Landmarq has released the soundtrack to their DVD performance (carrying the same title and even the same artwork).

As customary for shows recorded at the Wyspianski Theatre, the audio mix is superb. As for the performance, that's a little harder to gauge. Most live albums showcase a band breathing new life into their studio recordings; perhaps indulging in some new song arrangements or sneaking in some improve. Without having the studio recordings as a frame of reference, it's hard to assess the balance of this recording. Yes ' the new material on the whole sounds good. There are two new epic tracks ('Calm Before the Storm' and 'Mountains of Anglia'); a soft ballad ('Prayer'); two up-tempo rockers ('Entertaining Angels' and 'Walking on Eggshells'); and a couple of 'traditional' Landmarq tracks ('Aftershock' and 'Timeline').

I detect a certain amount of stiffness to the earlier tracks on this CD; perhaps nerves from performing so much previously-unheard music. The band seems looser and much more effective on the closing tracks 'Mountains of Anglia' and 'Lighthouse'.

Although this is a solid release and I am a huge fan of Landmarq, I do have reservations about whole-heartedly recommending this particular release. For a truer representation of the band in a live setting, Thunderstruck is essential (in my opinion, one of the best live releases from a neo-progressive rock band). And as for the material contained on this release, one is much better off getting the DVD.

usa prog music | 3/5 |


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