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Marillion - Radiation CD (album) cover





2.67 | 480 ratings

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Tristan Mulders
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Marillion - Radiation

After the overly acoustic "This strange Engine" album, Marillion decided to come back with a more rock-orientated album: "Radiation". Despised by half of their fanbase, loved by the others. I can understand both perspectives, because the album is indeed one of a kind. The influences for the songs presented here are obvious: The Beatles and Radiohead.

I myself am part of the pro-Radiation movement and really love the album. Especially the raw production, which is really a contradiction compared to the previous "This strange Engine" album, is remarkable. The sound perfectly fits the songs, but sometimes it is a bit difficult to notice individual instruments in the overall mix, mainly the drumming.

There's absolutely no filler included here, according to my taste, each song is good on its own. The album consists of three different 'movements'. The first four songs are all uplifting rock songs, whereas Now she'll never know, These Chains and Born to run are slightly more emotional songs than the first set of songs. These songs are also 'darker' and more moody.

The final set of songs are the prog rock songs. Cathedral Wall is a metal prog song which includes some ethereal keyboard playing and heavy guitar work. Hogarth's vocals also sound very eerie and he even screams during some parts of the song. The title of the track fits the song perfectly, it sounds as if you indeed are inside a cathedral and there's a wall of noise coming at you.

Closing the album is the 10+ minute beauty that is A few Words for the Dead. Basically discussing the poetic significance of good and evil, the song's lyrics work as a clear division between the two parts of the songs. The first half of the song is very ambient and atmospheric and makes the listener wonder if he or she is in the middle of the jungle. The lyrics are a bit 'disturbing' and portrait the role of 'evil,' but they surely fit the dark mood of the music.

Halfway through, the song changes into something joyful and uplifting. Hogarth's voice certainly sounds more beautiful now and he really shines. The music switches to a higher pitch of sound, which accompanies the positive lyrics superbly.

The song is definitely prog, but not in a show-of kind of way. The various instruments do not fill any solo spots within the composition, but the overall changes in tempo combined with the weird keyboards and samples make it a worthy piece of music for any prog rock collection. Funny thing to mention is that in the CD's booklet the lyrics for the final song have different colours regarding whether it is from the perspective of good or evil :-)

Tristan Mulders | 4/5 |


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