Landmarq - Solitary Witness

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Cyclops
Catalog Number: CYCL 116
Format: CD
Total Time: 65:17:00

Over the years our British friends Landmarq have had their fair share of problems. First there was the problem with vocalist Damien Wilson, then there was the difficulty with their Dutch record company SI which went bust just when their album The Vision Pit got released, making it almost impossible to get hold of a copy for years! In the end Damien was replaced by drummer Dave Wagstaffe's ex-girlfriend and ex-Quasar singer Tracy Hitchings and Landmarq started kind of a second life, holding a wish to one day re-release its entire output on their very own label. Probably down to the many musical activities and solo sidesteps, the band has decided a band should produce music and other people should run the management side of things, which is why Cyclops have now re-issued the Landmarq catalogue.

Recently appreciated by American prog fans whom for years turned down anything stamped with the label "neo-progressive," of course this Karl Groom/Clive Nolan produced material clearly bears the Thin Ice Studios stamp. Originally released in 1992 Solitary Witness holds some memorable moments not in the least between guitarist Uwe D'Rose and keyboard player Steve Leigh, as is illustrated during "Forever Young." To nicely create a balance on this album, two instrumentals have been added one being "April First," which sounds like an "étude" by Leigh and "Freefall," a joint venture between Leigh and D'Rose. However Solitary Witness is mainly known for its inclusion of two Landmarq classics. The first is "Terracotta Army" which, needless to say, contains a fair amount of Eastern influences. The other highlight has to be "Suite St. Helens" which sports some great piano playing in the intro. Once again it's the interaction between guitar and keyboards that do the trick for me. To regain interest, a shorter version of "Suite St. Helens," here referred to as the "alternate version," has been added as a bonus track. Surely no need for the Landmarq fans to go out and buy an extra copy of the album even if it sports new artwork, but those who have been looking in vain for any Landmarq material will be pleased to learn their search is now luckily over. Solitary Witness certainly is a must have if you want your collection to include a fine example of what the "neo-prog" fuss is all about.

Killing Fields (4:53) / Forever Young (8:53) / April First (4:54) / Foxing The Fox (4:26) / Terracotta Army (6:37) / Freefall (3:34) / Tippy Hedren (7:42) / After I Dided Somewhere (3:34) / Suite St. Helens (9:51) / Borders (4:59) / Bonus Track: Suite St. Helens (Alternate Version) (5:26)

Uwe D'Rose - guitar
Steve Leigh - keyboards
Steve Gee - bass
Dave Wagstaffe - drums
Damien Wilson - 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 13th 2002
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

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Language: english


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