Marching Mind – The Sickness and the Theory

In all my searching to find great new progressive rock from Scandinavia to Japan, it’s pretty refreshing to hear a band from my own city of Vancouver, Canada. Oddly enough, before talking with their guitarist Chris Neal and receiving this album in the mail, I had never heard of Marching Mind. Perhaps I’ve been too far-sighted to have been aware of the progressive scene in my own backyard, and it appears that this city has a great representative for prog, not to mention everyone’s obvious first choice for their favourite prog-metal reviewer! Although the band only dropped their debut in 2010, Marching Mind have fostered an excellent musical tightness on their second release, entitled ‘The Sickness And The Theory’. Fans of bands like Voivod and Tool will find much to appreciate with this one.

Although the album is close to being seventy minutes long- a trait that’s usually only excusable if you’re Dream Theater- ‘The Sickness And The Theory’ does not feeling overbearing.. Marching Mind do stick with their chosen style of technical art-grunge throughout, but with plenty of dynamic between the soft piano intermissions, melodic riffs and vicious prog-outs, ‘The Sickness And The Theory’ seems to have a well-intentioned sense of pace and flow. Musically, Marching Mind resonates most with the legendary Tool. Marching Mind do take a more technical path than Tool, but the band’s darkly atmospheric guitar riffs and vocalist Jeremy Tardif’s Maynard-esque voice betrays a heavy influence from the folks that brought us ‘Lateralus’.

The band bring a grungy tone and performance to their music, and while that might not sound conducive to using more traditionally ‘proggy’ tricks, but they pull it off well. The first full-length piece ‘Vertigo of Silence’ is a feast of strange riffs and time signatures that could have been pulled out of Dream Theater’s catalogue. Most of the band’s songs use similar structures, often playing up the constant change between softness and heaviness. With the average song length being around eight or nine minutes however, it often feels like many of these tracks may have benefited from a little editing. This is obviously not to say that Marching Mind would have been best left with confining themselves to the four minute wonder format, but some of the slower, more vocal-oriented moments are noticeably less interesting than when the band are playing full-force.

‘The Sickness And The Theory’ definitely deserves a listen from anyone open to the angrier side of prog metal. It’s exciting to hear a band like Marching Mind running wild with their ambitions and taking on nine, or fourteen minute song structures so readily. With their hopeful third record, it would be great to hear this vision refined and consolidated a little, but even as it stands, Marching Mind are a force to be reckoned with.


1. Conception (2:07)
2. Vertigo Of Silence (8:59)
3. Reactivation (6:55)
4. Borne Upon Tears (3:51)
5. Steps Of Avaran (8:15)
6. Astral Transmission (8:02)
7. Locust Enigma (9:55)
8. Surge Subterra (7:23)
9. Convergence (13:02)


* Will Goodall – bass, backing vocals
* Sebastien Leger – drums, percussion, timpani, backing vocals
* Chris Neal – electric & acoustic guitars, backing vocals
* Jeremy Tardif – vocals, acoustic piano, keyboards, Hammond organ, glockenspiel


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