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Marillion - Seasons End CD (album) cover





3.75 | 870 ratings

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4 stars I was at Batam Island accompanying a friend of mine who played billiard at our company's club house sometime in 1989. A gentleman who was my company's Process Engineer talked with me about hobbies and interests, and of course - what? - I told him that my hobby is enjoying great music especially rock with groups like Yes, Genesis, ELP, King Crimson, and the "defunct" Marillion. Oops !!.. suddenly he stopped me talking and telling me this: What ? Marillion? Script for A Jester's Tear? I told him: Yeah - Marillion! The "So here I am once more .. " thing that BLEW me at first listen! And you know what? He told me like this: "Come on Gatot, Marillion is not defunct. They are still alive and I got the CD of their latest album"; and I interjected: "You mean . Clutching At Straw..?". "Nope! It's called xxxxx End" (at the time I could only caught the word "End"). I was shocked because approx a month before I read an article that the band about to be disbanded due to Fish leaving the band. I could not believe Marillion was still alive!!! Horraaaaayyyy ...!!!! The problem was then; who is the lead singer? Will he sound like Fish? What about the music? Would it be still a heart-bleeding, touchy and killing like before? (I remember vividly how the "So here I'm once more .." or "Peace on earth and mercy mild" or "On the outskirt of somewhere on the ring road to somewhere.." or "Leave me alone with my thoughts oh runaway -duk-duk-thak!" or "I was flicking through the channel on TV .." melodies have killed me whenever I listen to the CD of old Marillion albums). Good that finally that Process Engineer gave me a cassette containing the album songs.

Oh man .. if you ask me what was my first reaction about this album - I could not even rate it because I was totally disappointed to the drain! Really. I mean it. Why? My feeling was that: How come a great band like Marillion who had been a very important part in my life created this kind of totally mellow music? I did not have the patient to enjoy the album really. Where is the killing melody or energetic style or beautiful and smooth transition piece? Gone man. Gone . And I did not want to enjoy the album at all.

Well , that was then and this is now . (after I have ventured into wider ranges and spectrum of progressive music and let my mind being open to any style of music).

"The King of Sunset town" (8:02) is a very very slow growing track with a too long ambient style at the opening. But it then it grew with me with couple of spins especially when I observed the beauty of Mark Kelly keyboard work and stunning guitar by Steve Rothery. Their styles remain intact only that the composition has required them to play it differently - with a sort of "sustained" play. "Easter" (5:57) hit me at first listen because the track has an excellent melody with nice acoustic guitar work. It reminds me to their "Chelsea Monday" of debut album. "The Uninvited Guest" (3:52) has a guitar fills that you can refer to their earlier albums but with different composition and nuance - especially the adjustment with Hogarth's different voice timbre compared to previous singer, Fish.

"Seasons End" (8:07) is to me like "Sugar Mice" from Clutching At Straw album. The melody is great. The only different one is that it lacks the "bleeding-heart" parts like what I heard from early album. On the peak that I expect the band would deliver such a killing melody like "so if you want my address is number one at the end of the bar" it does not really happen here. Fortunately, the guitar solo in the interlude part is pretty similar. Excellent! "Holloway Girl" (4:27) is a free flowing song with powerful voice of Hogarth at opening part and great howling guitar work by Steve Rothery.

"Berlin" (7:43) is a good track that the band experimented with the use of sax in its composition. It's an excellent exploration. "After Me" (3:19) acoustic guitar intro reminds me to "Easter". "Hooks on You" (2:54) is a rocker and I think this is Marillion's answer to Van Halen because it's basically a hard rock music. "The Space" is really an excellent track and I like the symphonic nature of this song. It rekindles Marillion early albums.

Having enjoyed with many types of prog music, I finally conclude that this album is an excellent addition to any prog collection. Yes, it's different with early Marillion but it's still excellent. The band's spirit to go on with their music is really a good. Fish's gone and Marillion had to move on . Bravo Marillion! Keep on proggin' .!

Progressively yours, GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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