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Fish - A Feast of Consequences CD (album) cover





3.96 | 442 ratings

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4 stars A Feast Of Consequences is the first album by the great Big Fellow in six years now, this owing to a combination of well documented personal and health issues. Thankfully, the throat problems that threatened to scupper his career appear to have been sorted out completely, and the only real thing you notice listening to this, as compared to earlier works, is the fact that his range has narrowed somewhat, although this, of course, could equally be due to advancing years. This is most noticeable on Other Side of Me, which is delivered in almost a monotone for much of the track.

Does it render this work a disappointment? Not a bit of it. This is a mature album, showcasing a unique talent, so much so that the disappointment of horrors such as Songs From The Mirror are now all but a distant memory. This is the continuation of a run of form that started with Sunsets on Empire, and included the exceptional Raingods With Zippos and the immediate predecessor, the hugely enjoyable 13th Star.

The subject matter is familiar to all those who, like me, have followed Fish from the very early days, this being war, the futility of war, the political issues behind such tragedy, but, of course, never forgetting the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The music itself ranges from the thoughtful and subdued, as witnessed by the opening epic Perfume River, to the type of pop/prog which he almost made his own in All Loved Up, and the epic suite, this witnessed by High Wood, a five part musing on the sheer futility of it all. Amongst all of this are two quite sumptuous ballads, my favourite being the astoundingly gorgeous Blind To The Beautiful, a paeon to the heart wrenching loss of faith in life and beauty itself. The lyrical point of the whole work is best represented by the powerful title track.

Another noticeable thing about this album, to me, is just how much better Fish is when he is surrounded by cohorts he trusts and likes in what would, anywhere else, pass as a regular band. Robin Boult returns, very well indeed, on guitar, to join Steve Vantis on bass, Foss Patterson on keys, and the wonderful Gavin Griffiths on drums. Together, this bunch make a tightly knit troupe, and the well produced album is completed by the extremely powerful backing vocals of Elisabeth Troy Antwi, whose performance on the evocative Great Unravelling is simply brilliant. And we also have a wonderful set of artwork by the legendary Mark Wilkinson. Happy days!

Fish has, here, produced a powerful, and wide ranging, album, one that definitely appeals strongly to old boys such as I, but would, I feel, also be a decent introduction to those reading this review who might want to explore what a good, intelligent, modern rock album, with a range of tone and depth, might sound like. The aforementioned High Wood suite is the best example of how a progressive rock epic should sound, ranging from hush to toe-tapping, tub-thumping rock, from pastoral, Celtic fused folk, to lush keyboard led symphonic sounds. It has it all.

It should also, by the way, really now scotch all the nonsense I still read from those who wish for a return to Marillion. They are doing nicely without him, thank you, and, you know what? So is he without them.

Four stars for this, an excellent album, and very strongly recommended.

lazland | 4/5 |


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