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Fish - Sunsets On Empire CD (album) cover





3.80 | 207 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars "Sunsets On Empire" stands head and shoulders above all of Fish's studio albums in my opinion.That's not counting his highly regarded "Thirteenth Star" (his latest) which I haven't heard yet but do own. I really do feel it's Steven Wilson's involvement on this album that has made the difference for me. Apparently Steven was a MARILLION fan and Fish also liked PORCUPINE TREE so Fish asked if he'd help him out with this one. Wilson arranged and produced it, and also co-wrote over half of these tracks, so yes he's had a big influence on the final product here. He also plays guitar on it. Check out the Cannabis leaves on the album cover.

"The Perception Of Johnny Punter" kicks in before a minute with heavy guitar and vocals. I like how it settles before 3 minutes then it kicks back in with some screaming guitar. Spoken words and a calm after 5 minutes then it kicks back in at 6 1/2 minutes. Great track. "Goldfish & Clowns" starts out with piano and guitar expressions. Reserved vocals join in before it kicks into gear at 2 minutes. Emotion. A guitar solo before 3 minutes then it settles back a minute later as contrasts continue. Good song. "Change Of Heart" features strummed guitar and reserved vocals. It's fuller after a minute. Nice guitar solo 2 1/2 minutes in.You can tell it's Steven Wilson playing it. "What Colour Is God" opens with percussion as reserved vocals join in. It kicks in with passionate vocals as contrasts continue. Catchy stuff.

"Tara" has a beat with piano and atmosphere as reserved vocals arrive. A very cool tune. Some female backing vocals too. "Jungle Ride" opens with spoken words, percussion and strummed guitar. It picks up with vocals after a minute. Great sound. Spoken words are back as themes are repeated. "Worm In A Bottle" opens with percussion and laid back vocals to start. It picks up a minute in as contrasts continue. "Brother 52" is interesting with the spoken word samples mixed in with the vocals, organ, piano and violin. Excellent tune. "Sunsets On Empire" reminds me of solo Roger Waters with the almost whispered vocals to start and gentle guitar. It does kick in at 1/2 minutes as contrasts continue. "Say It With Flowers" features reserved vocals and a mellow sound. Strummed guitar and more passionate vocals follow as contrasts continue.Tim Bowness helped compose this one with Wilson and Fish.

In the liner notes Fish credits Steven Wilson for pushing him to do things he had been avoiding, and bringing an "attitude" to the recording process. Fish really sings with passion like in his old MARILLION days and the songs here are more creative than his earlier solo stuff in my opinion.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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