ARTIST:

LANDMARQ

(UNITED KINGDOM)
TITLE:

ENTERTAINING ANGELS

(2012)
LABEL:

AUTOPRODUCTION

GENRE:

PROGRESSIVE ROCK

TAGS:
Female vocals, Neo
"Between Tracy Hitchings' once again fantastic performance and exciting compositions, everything contributes to make "Entertaining Angels" one of the best neo progressive rock album of the year."
TONYB (16.04.2012)  
4/5
(0) opinions from our readers (0) comment(s)

If there's a band whose fame is inversely proportional to its quality, it's Landmarq, a British neo-progressive band that welcomed the first steps of a certain Damian Wilson, and carried since the last studio album by the queen of neo-prog, Tracy Hitchings. But 14 long years have passed since the release of their last studio album, Clive Nolan's former muse having in the meantime had to fight successfully against a double cancer, and despite the release during this period of two live albums plus a DVD, the band had fallen into oblivion. Nevertheless, Landmarq didn't remain inactive, and after having welcomed Clive Nolan's clone, keyboardist Mike Varty (Credo, Janison Edge, Shadowland), many new compositions were released, at least enough to fill this Entertaining Angels to the brim, and to offer some more on a bonus CD delivered with the special edition.

A first glance at the list of tracks shows that the band has kept its habit of integrating a track taking the name of the previous album. Here, two tracks (Turbulence and Thunderstruck on the bonus CD) are reminiscent of the previous productions. What hasn't changed either, and considering the circumstances it's to her credit, is the incredible voice of Tracy Hitchings who, from the very first lyrics of the title track, attacks the treble with happiness, making some shivers run down the listener's spine.

On the music side, Landmarq once again offers us a neo-progressive of great quality, dominated by keyboards and giving pride of place to melodies. There's no metallic aggressiveness here, the band having managed not to give in to the sirens of the current fashion and keeping its very nineties touch. The presence of Mike Varty obviously brings his "nolan" touch to the whole, but without the band losing its identity. Of course, some reminiscences of Strangers On A Train or Caamora can be found in some passages, the most marked being Prayer. But overall, Landmarq's usual touch is still present, with judicious and non-invasive guitar solos, and as a little novelty some welcome saxophone interventions, as well as some violin or viola notes.

The tracks are long, with two epic titles at the end of the album, and alternate with a real happiness the vocal parts and the abundant instrumental passages, whose careful production allows to impress the listener in an almost hypnotic way. And it's the last track (which is also the longest) Calm Before The Storm which takes the best advantage of this trend, concluding in beauty a solid album.

As for the bonus CD, far from being like sometimes a simple commercial bait, it offers us four tracks removed from the standard version for lack of space, but of equally worthy interest, with a Thunderstruck written during the tour following the previous studio album as a highlight. The last three short tracks (not mentioned) are on the other hand more dispensable.

After so much waiting, Landmarq comes to remind us that he is still alive. Between Tracy Hitchings' once again fantastic performance and exciting compositions, everything contributes to make Entertaining Angels one of the values to be taken into account for the next year-end rankings.


More informations on http://www.landmarq.net





TRACK LISTING:
01. Entertaining Angels (8:31)
02. Glowing (part 1: Friends) (4:05)
03. Glowing (part 2: Lovers) (8:12)
04. Mountains Of Anglia (8:56)
05. Personal Universe (7:53)
06. Prayer (coming Home) (5:38)
07. Turbulence (paradigm Shift) (12:32)
08. Calm Before The Storm (16:11)
10. --- Limited Bonus Cd
11. Walking On Eggshells (6:56)
12. Timeline (5:54)
13. Stormbrewing (2:09)
14. Thunderstruck (13:23)

LINEUP:
Sam Collins : Choeurs
Dave Wagstaffe: Batterie
Mike Varty: Claviers / Violon, alto
Steve Gee: Basse
Tracy Hitchings: Chant
Uwe D'Rose: Guitares
Hugh Mc Dowell: Invité / Violoncelle
Laurent Hunziker: Invité / Saxophone
Suzanne Parry: Invité / Choeurs
   
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