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Marching Mind - Marching Mind CD (album) cover


Marching Mind


Progressive Metal

3.93 | 16 ratings

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4 stars Marching Mind are from Vancouver, Canada, and there's no better way to describe their debut as a 2010 incarnation of the best Canada had to offer in previous decades, a mix of 77-81 Rush and 89-93 Voivod. But it's no mindless copy of those bands. The presence of their spirit is quite obvious but there's not one riff or melody that sounds like it's nicked one from the masters. Also, they never sound retro or old-school but very fresh and vibrant.

The focus on the album is the songwriting, which is quite brilliant to my ears: original and both catchy and complex. Guitarist Chris Neal is a marvel, switching between acoustic and electric, he rushes through an abundance of ideas, as if he opened a long-lost bag of Alex Lifeson riffs. Also drummer Sebastien Leger has a sound and style very similar to Rush, but less ornamental, laying low on the fills and ruffles. The bass and vocals are different though; the bass is quite sober but still very present and fluent, while vocalist Jeremy Tardif sounds not entirely unlike Voivod's vocalist in a melodic mood, as on "Angle Rat" and "Outer Limits". But his voice is less strained, limited in scope maybe but used very wisely, well aware of its limits and possibilities. He also handles the keyboards, used very sparsely but always very fitting and refreshing where they feature.

The most surprising and admirable about this album is the balance that this young band reached. Their way of playing is definitely Prog Rock/Metal, meaning technical, busy, complex and unconventional, but it's done very maturely, with fitting restraint: when there is a keyboard part, the guitars are put to the background or even absent, when there's a solo there is no rhythm guitar, when the vocals come to the fore, there are no keyboards and so on. In combination with the effective playing style of every band member the album never gets too busy or frantic, but remains very open and spacious. This music really breathes!

A marvelous 9/10 album, and I assume this band still has growing potential. Great debut, highly recommended for fans of classic Rush with a modern vibe.

Bonnek | 4/5 |


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