Landmarq - Infinity Parade

Year of Release: 1993
Label: SI Music
Catalog Number: Simply 32
Format: CD
Total Time: 54:27:00

Infinity Parade, the second album from UK band Landmarq is different from their debut, Solitary Witness in many respects. Although the duo of Clive Nolan and Karl Groom produced, and the album contains their indelible stamp, this is a gentler Landmarq, a sound that is closer to their most recent studio album, Science Of Coincidence, than before. In fact, I could easily hear Tracy Hitchings (their current vocalist) singing the chorus to "The More You Seek The More You Lose." This is a more mature Landmarq, and yet I haven't really decided which is their stronger release.

The album opens with Steve Gee on pipes, giving "Solitary Witness" a Celtic feel. Yes, the song here is the title of their previous album. On their third, The Vision Pit, there is a track called "Infinity Parade," and on their fourth, Science..., there is a track called "The Vision Pit." Anyway, instead of the vocal gymnastics vocalist Damien Wilson used on Solitary (and much more so with his other former band Threshold), Wilson sings in a more controlled manner, which makes him sound a bit more like Fish and less like Robert Plant.

That isn't to say Wilson doesn't contort his voice around melodies - the carnival-like arrangement of "Gaia's Waltz" gives him an opportunity to twist around an awkward rhythm, and he makes it seem so easy. This waltz is more tango than stuffy, formalized gliding across a polished floor. Because I have been absorbed in Arthurian Legend these past few weeks (the fruits of which will appear in the January issue of Progression), this track can't help but make me think of Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists Of Avalon. There is a point where Morgaine (Morgan Le Fey, in some versions) disappears into the land of fairy. In "Gaia's Waltz," she comes home from a day in the city, disrobes and begins to dance...essentially and eventually, entering the land of fairy and fantasy. Gaia (or Gaea) represents the Earth and references can be found in mythology. That Nolan has a hand in this somewhere is no more evident than here as well, as there are moments which made me think of "Jericho" from Nolan's own Arena project.

"Landslide" in an energetic, rocking instrumental. Symphonic keys soften it and the solo, while nice, explores no new territory. There's even a bit that borders on blues rock. Closing the album is the warm ballad "Embrace" (I thought of Fish here on his recent Raingods album and specifically of "Tilted Cross" and "Incomplete") - there is a certain accessibility here that would make it ideal for radio, though it would then be reviled as more pop than prog. I rather like it, though, and there is a nice guitar solo by D'Röse who wrote the music, the lyrics are Wilson's.

The centerpiece here is the 16 minute "Ta' Jiang." Ta' Jiang means great river in Chinese, and the subject of the song is the declining state of riverside commerce and the pollution of the river itself. But this river is a microcosm for the destruction we are subjecting our planet to. A similar message as in "Suite: St. Helens" on Solitary... and in "Narovyla" on The Vision Pit. It's starts out nicely enough with keys and vocals, full of tension. This gives way to a keening guitar and vocals, to which frenetic drums are added...all of this builds as the tension is released. The pattern begins again for the second phase of this first second - the track is broken into five parts, two of which are instrumental.

"Tailspin (Let Go The Line)" uses a vocal layering that could also be heard on Nolan's first Shadowland album Ring Of Roses, specifically the bridge to "The Whistleblower." "Tailspin" is an understated track, where Dave Wagstaffe's bass seems to steady and precise to be real. Languid - that is the pace of this track. There is no hurry to get anywhere, though the pace picks up on the outro, the guitar lead becoming a little anxious. A song that is on the border between being beautiful and dull.

"The More You See The More You Lose" is the most accessible track, the most lively of the tracks excepting "Landslide." Wilson's vocal melodies carry you along, from verse to verse to chorus, though he speaks-sings the versus and doesn't truly sing until the chorus.

Solitary Witness (6:50) / Gaia's Waltz (6:05) / Landslide (3:55) / Ta' Jiang (16:31) / Tailspin (Let Go The Line) (8:37) / The More Your Seek The More You Lose (5:41) / Embrace (6:30)

Uwe D'Röse - electric and acoustic guitars
Steve Gee - fretless and fretted basses
Steve Leigh - piano and synthesizers
Dave Wagstaffe - drums and percussion
Damian Wilson - lead and backing vocals

Solitary Witness (1992/2002)
Infinity Parade (1993/2002)
The Vision Pit (1995)
Science Of Coincidence (1998)
Thunderstruck (1999)
Aftershock (2002)
Turbulence - Live In Poland (2009)
Entertaining Angels (2012)
Origins - A Landmarq Anthology (2014)
RoadSkill - Live In The Netherlands (CD/DVD) (2015)

Turbulence - Live In Poland (DVD) (2006)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: October 1st 2000
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow

Artist website:
Hits: 632
Language: english


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