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Landmarq — Science of Coincidence
(Cyclops CYCL 119, 1998, CD)

by Dane Carlson, Published 1999-11-01

Science of Coincidence Cover art

Science of Coincidence sees this English band fronted by a new singer, and this time it’s the “busybody” of the neo-prog scene, Tracy Hitchings. Tracy rejoins her former Quasar bandmates on this recording and is not all that different from former singer, Damian Wilson in that both are expressive, though Wilson may have better range. I find the change most welcome as it pulls the band back from the harder style into a more melodic sound that’s a melange of the familiar Marillion / Arena / Jadis influence. Landmarq is a seasoned bunch of musicians who know when to stretch an idea and when to stop. With a few short songs and a few long pieces, I found this album to be pretty good on the whole. While Science of Coincidence may take you down a familiar road, they at least make it enjoyable. The band is at its strongest on the longer tracks: “The Vision Pit,” “The Overlook,” and my favorite, “Lighthouse.” All the songs are built on the lush keyboards of Steve Leigh, whose nimble boardwork throughout proves he’s a bit underrated. I found his playing tasty and full of warmth. Guitarist Uwe D'rose seems comfortable to lie low until his lead sections. D'rose reminds me a bit of David Gilmour, as he lets his solos slowly evolve, preferring to build his sound than just “letting 'er rip.” On “The Vision Pit” he plays a great, almost Arabic-style solo while on “Summer Madness” he plays in the light, springy style of Gary Chandler, creating an instantly likable little intro. As usual Ms. Hitchings gives it her all and is such a presence that one must like her vocal style to like this album. Only time will tell if she remains in the band, as she’s constantly working on a handful of projects. The sound is held together by bassist Steve Gee and drummer Dave Wagstaffe. The CD’s closer, “The Overlook,” is a real free-for-all with lots of band interplay, proving that Landmarq has been living in the shadow of Arena, Pendragon, and the like for too long. I found Science of Coincidence to be much better than any of those bands’ recent work.

Filed under: Audio, Issue 18, 1998 releases

Related artist(s): Landmarq, Tracy Hitchings


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