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Marillion - Seasons End CD (album) cover

SEASONS END

Marillion

 

Neo-Prog

3.75 | 602 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
3 stars Transitional & Uneven

When I found that "Derek W Dick (Fish)" had left MARILLION, started to fear that as GENESIS, the band would soon start a long and tedious process that would lead to turn them into another boring Pop Adult Contemporary ballad based band, and the time proved I was right. But as in other previous cases in which the most charismatic and inspired member left, I knew we could at least expect a transitional process in which one or two good albums would be released and again "Seasons End" proved I was right.

This very good album was released when "Hogarth" still hadn't time to impress his balladesque seal in the band and in my opinion sounds more like a "Fish" era album played with a different vocalist who was still trying to find his own sound, and for that reason singing more or less in the vein of his brilliant predecessor.

The album starts with the atmospheric introduction of "The King of Sunset Town" and as usual they manage to enter to the song with the usual sound of the band, until this point, nothing new has happened,. the good old sound is alive and the music is still great. Of course the voice of "Hogarth" is a shock, even when he is a good singer, the usual Scottish accent is missed, but the guy manages to maintain the style alive (As Phil Collins did in his first two albums as GENESIS lead vocalist). Very good opening, it's obvious there's a change, but no damage is done.

Strangely "Easter" sounds as a Scottish/Celtic folk tune, something I could had expected from the previous vocalist but is a bit odd with "Hogarth", but the song flows nicely without falling into boredom, the choirs are well worked and when the band has to add their strong ouch, they still do it. A special mention to the brilliant instrumental section, soft and delicate but yet interesting and haunting, not a single bad note in the track.

"The Uninvited Guest" is a little gem, sounds like a classic MARILLION song even when the vocals are not in the level, but at least "Hogarth" tries to adjust his voice to the versatile style of "Fish" and does a good job, Rothery's guitar work is delightful and "Kelly" maintains the sound we learned to love.

Sadly the previous song marks the peak and everything starts to go downhill after it, "Season's End" is not bad, Rothery's work is outstanding but "Hogarth's" voice lacks the emotion required for such a beautiful melody. A similar problem occurs in "Holloway Girl", nice howling guitar and keyboards but the voice is simply not in the level.

"Berlin" is my first disappointment, yes the band experiments and the song has bright parts, but that cohesion and magic of previous days is lost, for our luck it's followed by "After Me" which is not original being that the band starts to imitate themselves (In this case "Easter"), but at least it's good music.

"Hooks on You" simply sounds out of place, it's like a bland copy of "Van Hallen", what sounds good in a metal band, sounds caricaturesque in a band that tries to play Progressive Rock.

The album ends with the very Symphonic "The Space", extremely dramatic and full of emotion but again "Hogarth" ruins it because the band is making us shiver with emotion and he just sings without the necessary strength, the band does an spectacular job, but the vocals are far behind.

I believe that "Seasons End" is a relatively good but extremely uneven album, some tracks are brilliant, others are bellow the bar MARILLION set for them, maybe 3.5 stars but not being possible, will go with 3.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 3/5 |

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