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Marillion - Radiation CD (album) cover

RADIATION

Marillion

 

Neo-Prog

2.64 | 349 ratings

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Rune2000
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
2 stars Oh dear, something went really wrong with this one!

After steadily growing with every new release in the '90s Marillion lost some of their momentum with the release of This Strange Engine in 1997 followed by this release only a mere year later. Maybe it was the newly obtained Internet community that made the band feel obligated to produce their albums a bit faster than what they did earlier but that's what I think is the main problem with their late '90's output. If only the band could combine the best bits of This Strange Engine, Radiation and Marillion.com on one cohesive release then it would have easily become one of their best albums. As it stands today these releases all fall short in the quality of their material.

You might object by saying that Brave was succeeded by Afraid Of Sunlight within the same time span or even mention the early days where the band did an album each year. This is all very true but that's actually the right thing to do as long as a band is on a creative streak. This is definitely not the case with Radiation where Marillion basically rehashed the same formula that they gave us on both Afraid Of Sunlight and This Strange Engine. This means that the album doesn't really offer any real worth a while material and instead just gives the already established fans base something to hold them over until the next album.

It all starts quite promising with the two lighter tunes Under The Sun and The Answering Machine but towards Three Minute Boy I started to feel that Marillion was trying too hard to show how much fun they were having here and it didn't come off as a genuine reaction. I realize that this type of criticism comes down to personal opinion and there isn't really a way to prove whether the band was genuine or not but this still doesn't take away from the fact that the music here us completely void of any stand-out moments. The material on Radiation might not be completely terrible since Marillion does play it safe most of the time but this just gives the naysayers that criticize the band for not being progressive enough all the more proof to strengthen their argument.

I don't know if it's the timespan, uninspired performance or the loose direction that makes it a weaker release but ultimately that's exactly what Radiation represents. A perfect example of collectors/fans only material.

**** star songs: Under The Sun (4:13) The Answering Machine (3:48)

*** star songs: Costa Del Slough (1:24) Three Minute Boy (5:59) Now She'll Never Know (4:59) These Chains (4:49) Born To Run (5:12) Cathedral Wall (7:19) A Few Words For The Dead (10:31)

Rune2000 | 2/5 |

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