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Marillion - Seasons End CD (album) cover

SEASONS END

Marillion

 

Neo-Prog

3.76 | 629 ratings

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apps79
Special Collaborator
Neo Prog Team
5 stars While the departure of Fish (now heading to a solo career) really shocked Marillion, the rest of the band had to move on, as some material for a fifth album was already written and the contract with EMI was still active.In early 89' they recruited ex-Europeans and How We Live keyboardist/singer Steve Hogarth, an artist with a New Wave/Pop-Rock background and far from Progressive Rock's knowledge.The new album ''Seasons' end'' was released in September 89', featuring a nice cover with the four seasons, partly produced by future Genesis producer Nick Davies.

The audience was really sceptical about Hogarth, but the new album was the proof that Marillion were alive and well and Hogarth's voice fit perfectly with the band's style.While his voice was far less theatrical than Fish'es, he had a beautiful, crystalline and sensitive approach on singing with a nice range of expressions.Musically ''Seasons' End'' seemed like an amalgam of Marillion's previous albums.It contains both song-based material and semi-long dramatic epics as presented on ''Clutching at straws'' and ''Script of a jester's tear''.''Easter'', ''The Uninvited Guest'', ''Holloway Girl'', ''"After Me" (only on the CD and MC releases) or ''Hooks in You'' are mixes of lightweight tunes with incredibly memorable choruses, good arrangements, fantastic guitar work by Rothery and dreamy keyboard parts by Kelly, all great tracks in the vein of catchy Neo Progressive Rock.The longer compositions are even greater and stand easily next to the Fish-era epics.''The King of Sunset Town'' is a fantastic opener, awesome guitar work by Rothery along with flashy synths by Kelly and Hogarth's impressive first performance.The eponymous track is fully FLOYD-ian, a melancholic long soundscape with grandiose symphonic keyboards and crying guitar solos.Hogarth's voice seems more sensitive than ever.''Berlin'' is another winner.Dramatic Neo Prog with some light saxes thrown in, characterized by Rothery's bursting solos and a structure split between vocal performances and energetic soloing.The closing ''The Space...'' is a total masterpiece.Opening with an orchestral section, this will give room for a Kelly/Rothery groove next to Hogarth's melodramatic vocal delivery, to return before the end, as Hogarth comes back in the most atmospheric tune of the album, supported by a full-blown symphonic background.

Not only Marillion managed to welcome a great singer, but ''Seasons' End'' ended up to be a future masterpiece of Neo Progressive Rock with no weak tracks at all.A band that just made a fresh start, creating an album among the milestones of the genre.Not to be missed in any version or at any cost.

apps79 | 5/5 |

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