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Fish Weltschmerz album cover
3.92 | 152 ratings | 6 reviews | 29% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2020

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1 (42:12)
1. Grace of God (8:19)
2. Man with a Stick (6:27)
3. Walking on Eggshells (7:18)
4. This Party's Over (4:22)
5. Rose of Damascus (15:45)

CD 2 (42:18)
1. Garden of Remembrance (6:07)
2. C Song (The Trondheim Waltz) (4:41)
3. Little Man What Now? (10:54)
4. Waverley Steps (End of the Line) (13:45)
5. Weltschmerz (6:51)

Total Time 84:30

Line-up / Musicians

- Fish / vocals

- Steve Vantsis / bass, keyboards, guitars, programming
- Robin Boult / guitar
- John Mitchell / guitar
- Craig Blundell / drums
- Dave Stewart / drums
- David Jackson / saxophone
- Liam Homes / keyboards
- Foss Paterson / keyboards
- Doris Brendel / backing vocals
- Mikey Owers / brass
- Scottish Chamber Orchestra / strings

Releases information

2CD, 2LP, digital download

Also available as 2CD + Blu Ray deluxe edition. Blu ray will feature 5.1 mix of the album, promo videos and 4 live audio recordings and live concert footage from Edinburgh Queens Hall.

Release date September 25, 2020

Thanks to TCat for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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FISH Weltschmerz ratings distribution

(152 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

FISH Weltschmerz reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Warthur
5 stars Fish's solo career has had more than its fair share of ups and downs, with a fractious relationship with the major labels nudging him into taking a more independent path from Suits onwards, and patchy finances dogging his homegrown endeavours. Nonetheless, his solo albums have always had something of interest to them, and a few have been outright brilliant - Sunsets On Empire being perhaps the first bona fide classic he produced after leaving Marillion, and A Feast of Consequences being a late-career masterpiece.

Now, however, the game is over. Weltschmerz finds Fish following up the career high point of Feast of Consequences by putting an end to his career - at least as far as making solo studio albums goes. The sole double studio album of his career, it's a capstone to over three decades of toil since his exit from Marillion and, unless his plans change unexpectedly, marks the end of an era.

It would have been embarrassing, then, if it had turned out to be a clunker - in fact, it's quite the opposite. With a brooding, melancholy atmosphere suggestive of the world-weariness that the title implies, the album's long compositions take us on epic emotional journeys, addressing regrets and, perhaps towards the end, showing just a bit of the anger that came forth on Market Square Heroes or Forgotten Sons back in those early Marillion says - a few glowing sparks among the ashes suggesting that the fire has not gone out yet, even if it might fall to others to carry it forwards.

In many ways it's lazy and annoying to compare Fish to Marillion, given the differing musical paths they have followed and their mutual struggles to overcome the gravity well of the four albums they did together. Nonetheless, it's heartening to hear both parties coming into this sort of late-career renaissance, and producing albums like Feast of Consequences, FEAR, Weltschmerz and An Hour Before It's Dark which can act almost as companion pieces to each other - not because they're imitating each other, but because they're looking at the same damaged state of the world and offering their thoughts. Still, if Fish's solo career had one task, it was to prove to the world that he had something of artistic merit to say independent of Marillion, and Weltschmerz was his very last chance to do that. I'd say he succeeded with flying colours.

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nš 701

Derek William Dick, better known as Fish, is a Scottish artist from Edinburgh. He's without any doubt one of the leading singers in the neo-prog sub-genre. Fish is mostly known from the band Marillion, but he has a glorious solo career too. With Marillion, Fish released four studio albums "Script For A Jester's Tear" in 1983, "Fugazi" in 1984, "Misplaced Childhood" in 1985 and "Clutching At Straws" in 1987. As solo artist he released eleven studio albums, "Vigil In A Wilderness Of Mirrors" in 1990, "Internal Exile" in 1991, "Songs From The Mirror" in 1993, "Suits" in 1994, "Sunsets On Empire" in 1997, "Raingods With Zippos" in 1999, "Fellini Days" in 2001, "Field Of Crows" in 2004, "13th Star" in 2007, "A Feast Of Consequences" in 2013 and "Weltschmerz" in 2020, his swan studio work that is the subject of my review.

This is the final album of a great man, a great man who walks with a stick, like that guy in the song "Man With A Stick". He worked on this album for five years. More than ever, pensiveness, mental exhaustion and melancholy define Fish's songwriting. The themes of his final compositions are very dark but very human too. In magical and picturesque images he becomes painfully sympathetic and palpable, a man hurt and disillusioned with the world. In the background there's the political and social rollercoaster ride of the last few years, with the Scottish referendum, the unfortunate Brexit, Trump and the corona pandemic. And he didn't know it at the time, but the invasion of Ukraine was still missing. So, all the pain, all the depression that resulted from it couldn't fit on a single album because he had so much material to present to us as his final testimony, a testimony of some regrets and things that remained to be done, his world of pain.

So, "Weltschmerz" is the eleventh studio album of Fish and that was released in 2020. The line up on the album is Fish (vocals), Doris Brendel (backing vocals), Steve Vantsis (guitars, keyboards, bass and programming), Robin Boult (guitar), John Mitchell (guitar), Liam Homes (keyboards), Foss Paterson (keyboards), David Jackson (saxophone), Mikey Owers (brass), Craig Blundell (drums), Dave Stuart (drums) and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (strings).

The album opens with "Grace Of God", two different pieces strung together, a clever guide to what follows. It offers a powerful opener, one of the best of Fish, with a lot of pressure and variation that defines the atmosphere of the album. "Man With A Stick" is very acccessible with some catchy keyboard passages. It has a wonderful blend of the old and new, a Genesis' vibe from the keys, yet at the same time modern in its spirit. It's not great, not bad. With "Walking On Eggshells" Fish is back at his best. It sounds slightly menacing thanks to its booming riffs. It's a rich track with great arrangements and fine details that carries you on a journey. The vocals here are flawless. With "This Party's Over" Fish celebrates his farewell. It sounds downright cheerful with its Celtic folky touch. It's a very simple song, a mixed-salad of many of the creative elements that defined his solo career. An ending with a smile. "Rose Of Damascus" is one of the central pieces on "Weltschmerz". The piece is beautifully orchestrated where Fish delivers one of his greatest lyrical performance for years with a song that is cinematic in both its narrative and soundscape. It difficults to accept the end of his career. "Garden Of Remembrance" is a fantastic and very poignant track with great emotional power and depth. It proves that he's still capable of producing some amazing moments and that it isn't only the prog epics that are required to do that. "C Song (The Trondheim Waltz)" is a simple piano song with a real folk feel and references of Fish's Scottish roots. Despite its nature as a waltz, there's nothing lethargic or dragging on this track. "Little Man What Now?" is also a highlight on the album with its heavy and slow rhythm and spreads a morbid mood. Plus an eerily beautiful saxophone from David Jackson of Van Der Graff Generator. This is properly a broody and captivating listen, a down brilliant track. "Waverley Steps (End Of The Line)" is another central epic. It starts quietly and builds up to a rocking and driving piece where Fish turned up full again. It's rousing, emotional and is the crowning glory of the entire album, both lyrically and musically. "The title track "Weltschmerz" closes the album in a dark mood. Fish doesn't mince his words and shouts his disappointment at humanity's failures. It's all here, laid bare. The old anger may have been tamed, but it still burns.

Conclusion: "Weltschmerz" is the most recent and last album of Fish, the end of a brilliant career of an iconic artist. As Fish said, "Weltschmerz" is a German expression that means "world pain". It's a dark album with a feeling of world weariness and melancholy. "Weltschmerz" is a very personal album of Fish. It reflects a variety of circumstances of his life, his mistakes, his illness, the bereavement due to the death of his parents, band changes a global pandemic and the political changes already mentioned by me above. So, "Weltschmerz" is his best solo album? I really don't know. But it's certainly a completely successful and very coherent work. With his last album, the Scots has once again made an impressive statement about his music. I'm sure that this farewell will earn him the recognition and respect he deserves.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

4 stars It has been a long time in the making but Fish has finally released his final album 'Weltschmerz'. If this is indeed Fish's last studio album, he leaves us with a masterpiece. The word 'Weltschmerz' translates as a feeling of melancholy in a world of weariness. This album was created against a ... (read more)

Report this review (#2476795) | Posted by thesimilitudeofprog | Tuesday, November 17, 2020 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I have been a Fish fan since I first heard You Know he Knows on the radio way back in 1983. I was crushed when he left Marillion but his solo albums for the most part have been excellent, yes I know Fish writes great lyrics and has a great voice but he knows that you need cool guitar solos and ... (read more)

Report this review (#2458712) | Posted by AgeofMadness | Friday, October 23, 2020 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Upon rating this a "4" I want to say that it is slightly less than a "4", just like Consequences is a bit more than a "4". Consequences, as a Fish album, finally contained material on a par with material found in the early Marillion albums for which he is so famous. Weltschmerz, in my mind, conta ... (read more)

Report this review (#2455878) | Posted by gbjones | Tuesday, October 13, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Good new album! I've never been the most faithful fan of Fish, loving much of what he did on the early Marillion albums "Script", "Childhood", and especially "Clutching" ("Fugazi"...not so much...); and his work on some of the Tony Banks solo shtuff was great. Then I took a chance a couple of ... (read more)

Report this review (#2452528) | Posted by Squire Jaco | Tuesday, September 29, 2020 | Review Permanlink

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