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Marillion - Seasons End CD (album) cover





3.75 | 870 ratings

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Tristan Mulders
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Marillion - Seasons End

This was the first Marillion release after the departure of their old front man Fish. Logically people would be anxious to know in what form the band would continue to exist. Simply because I was two years old when this album was released, I never needed to be wondering about the further existence of the band, because I got to know them exactly ten years after the release of "Seasons End". This also leads to a fairly objective way of looking at the album if put into contrast to the history of the band at that moment.

When listening to this album you cannot help but notice that most of the material was written when Fish was still in the band. The sound is almost identical to the older albums, with the exception that Steve Hogarth's vocals give it a twist.

May I suggest that you listen to the second disc of the remaster of Marillion's "Clutching at Straws" album if you like "Seasons End". I mention this because there are a handful of demo tracks included on that bonus disc, which are version of songs that finally ended up on Seasons End, but with Fish performing on them. That means some different compositions with familiar melodies and completely different lyrics.

Regarding the music I can say that compared to Marillion's previous output, "Seasons End" includes more songs that I would consider as 'filler' and that I hardly listen to nowadays. I personally think the songs Uninvited Guest, Holloway Girl and Hooks in you are basic, mediocre, straightforward rock songs. I wonder what made the band decide to put these on the album, instead of for instance the song The Bell in the Sea, which is a far more epic tune that was discarded to b-side status. oh right. of course how stupid of me, a simple three letter word/abbreviation explains it all: E-M-I.

Not everything is filler of course, for instance the classic live track Easter with its lyrics about Ireland and it's recognisable guitar playing, not to mention brilliant solo! Or what about that Alan Parsonesque introduction to the album with The King of Sunset Town? Or maybe the saxophone stuff that's included on track #6 Berlin?

And the best has not even been discussed yet: the title track and the haunting closing track The Space.. Both are fairly lengthy, respectively eight and six minutes long, dark and ambient songs. Thematically seen the song Seasons End points out to us that we should be more environment-friendly, whereas The Space. is more or less about feeling insecure and perhaps being unfamiliar with your surroundings because of that feeling of insecurity.

I guess Marillion still needed to adapt to the new situation with a new singer and lyricist. Hogarth's input on this album were limited, because a lot of things were left over from the earlier "Clutching at Straws" sessions, or maybe even from before that time. It seems that they needed a bit longer, up to "Holidays in Eden" -like the album or not, Steve was indeed more of a band member then- to fully understand the potential the Steve Hogarth had (= has!)

Tristan Mulders | 4/5 |


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