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Marillion - This Strange Engine CD (album) cover

THIS STRANGE ENGINE

Marillion

 

Neo-Prog

3.42 | 561 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars A Rolls Royce

I have to say, I love this album.

"This strange engine" is more progressive than most of the previous Hogarth era Marillion albums, while retaining all the best qualities from those albums. I know the band themselves came to resent their progressive tag, and tried hard later to disown it, but when they can produce music such as this, it's hard to see what their problem was.

The tracks are generally longer, peaking with the title track clocking in at almost 16 minutes. This track is an excellent piece of prog, with superb guitar work, and plenty of space for the band to stretch themselves beyond their previous self imposed boundaries. This is especially true of the albums which immediately preceded this one.

The first track "A man of a thousand faces" starts in fairly typical Marillion fashion, but slows towards the end to an almost tribal recital, very effective too. There are a number of mellower tracks to follow, such as "One fine day", "Estonia", and "Memory of water". They sit well together, creating a relaxed and pleasant mood for the album. There are some livelier numbers, such as "Hope for the future", and "An accidental man", but the general feel is smooth and melodic.

An undervalued album deserving of greater appreciation. (For those with wider tastes the remix album "Tales from the engine room" by Marillion and The Positive Light is also worth exploring).

Easy Livin | 4/5 |

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