Dec 12, 2011

Marching Mind - Self Titled (Review)

 Marching Mind - Self Titled
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Genre: Prog rock/Heavy Rock

4 stars

Marching Mind are a band I'd not heard prior to being given these tracks to review and admittedly, I was a little unsure how I would approach it once I was told what they were like. So I did it the only way I knew how - dive right in ready for anything and with no expectations.

Initially, its not the sort of thing I'd have paid much heed to if I'd just heard it on the radio (my ears would have pricked up at the progressive nature had it been commercial radio though), but after giving it a serious listen, I found myself surprised by the varieties used, the intricacies and the musicianship. The album as a whole shines with an array of influences, earlier prog rock bands, some more recent Heavy rock bands and even a few moments which reminded me of Mastodon, but it still keeps their own distinct flavor running throughout, which is impressive as that's something most bands fail to do.

Everything pieces together well and very little (if anything) is out of place for what's happening within any given song. My only criticism would be that there are a few things that are a little cliche and some things that have been done before. Things like a typical verse/chorus/verse song are a little odd for a band that (to me) is going for a very progressive sound, but understandably, these kinds of songs an break up this kind of record well. There's also the occasional addition of the "tried and true (but done to death)" major chord progressions with an anthemic vocal line, but as mentioned, in the context of the song it fits.

The tracks all have something different and unique to offer, each song has it's own feel, but it all manages to keep itself rooted in the sound, even if it's only in a small way. Each of the members seem to be accomplished musicians, each one of them takes a moment to stand out and show off what they can do, but without the usual showboating that some prog bands fall victim to. They all work together as a cohesive unit to create what you're hearing and it's shows they've put thought into their craft as songwriters.

 Definately worth a listen for fans of Rush, Tool & Mastodon, but with the occasional heavier twist. Stand out tracks for myself would be Shattered Helm and The Harbinger...