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Marillion - Seasons End CD (album) cover





3.75 | 870 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Seasons End is the fifth, and possibly the most important album by Neo-prog leaders Marillion. I say most important as this follows on from the departure of Fish from the Marillion line-up, an event that would prove to be more than just the loss of the charismatic front man. With this album they had to prove that they could go on without Fish, the genius behind the bands writing and, effectively, their sound. Enter Steven Hogarth, or "H" as he's sometimes known.

First off, the biggest difference from the previous album. Hogarth is a very different singer from Fish, none of the theatrics that led to the numerous Genesis comparisons, but brimmed full with souring and powerful vocals that will come to characterise the band for the rest of their career (so far). The other major difference is that Hogarth's lyrics aren't as symbolic, at least not in the same way, but they are equally effective to the music and whatever it is he's trying to say.

Musically this is a very strong album with only a couple of exceptions. Hooks in You is a pretty bad song for this album, clearly it seems to have been written as an attempted single, something that Marillion were very good at doing with Fish (think Garden Party, Kayleigh and Sugar Mice) but this has iffy lyrics and a constant driving riff that gets very boring very fast. The only other low song on here is After Me, which is an acoustic led song that isn't bad per say, but it lacks the feel and dynamic of the other songs on this album.

Seasons End does have a lot of great songs on it, though, and the best is almost certainly Easter. To me this song has a very folksy sound to it, but it contains what is quite easily Rothery's best ever solo, something that is completely unforgettable. Add to this Trewaves and Mosley's great bass/rhythm lines and you have one of Marillions best ever songs. However, Easter isn't exactly a prog song, probably closer to folk/pop but with proggy tendencies. Don't let that put you off though, it's a great song and worth getting this album for this song alone.

One thing that many of these songs have is a big, epic feeling to many of them, most notably the title track Seasons End, Berlin and The Space.. This is quite clearly something that the band do well, and have done throughout there career, showing that, musically, there's nothing wrong with this album. Throughout this album Pete Trewaves continues to show us that he is one of the best bass players around. His lines are never overshadowed by the keys/guitar and he seems to be the one driving many of the songs forward whilst working brilliantly with Mosley's effective drumming.

Overall this album is a match for its predecessor, Clutching At Straws, and confirmed that Marillion could continue just as effectively without Fish as they could with him. It isn't a masterpiece due to the two aforementioned songs that really add nothing to the album, but the rest is brilliant, a solid four star album.

sleeper | 4/5 |


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