Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Fish - Raingods With Zippos CD (album) cover





3.68 | 261 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Fish's fist and last epic suite

Curiously the Raingods with Zippos cover art seems to be Mark Wilkinson's worst contribution. On the other hand, the essence of the album (or simply - the music) is probably the best Fish has delivered since Vigil. The album might not have a single standalone masterpiece track (like The Perception... or Vigil), but, and what is more important, you can easily listen to the whole album without skipping a single song. Also fish has created something of a semi-concept album with Tumbledown, Mission Statement, Rites of Passage and the whole Plague of Ghosts suite being the cream of the crop.

The intro Tumbledown - rain-resembling piano section is somewhat similar to the opening of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway... OK, each and every malcontent may now cut the Fish-steals-everything-from-Genesis nagging. It's similar that's all! And then, suddenly, astonishingly the rocking part starts, with the chorus being a more hard rock version of the Raingod's Dancing. The beat is nice and Wilson's guitar riffs add a nice semi-metal feeling.

The second track (Mission Statement) is all rock & roll. It makes you dance instantly (or least stamp to the rhythm), due to it's simple and quite loud drums. It ends with a funny, antiquated piano/organ tune (as if straight from a saloon). Next comes 'Incomplete' a mellow, acoustic guitar-oriented track including the delicious, sad voice of Elisabeth Antwi. Nothing really chilling (compared to e.g. the Rites of Passage) but still a well-played tune, resembling Tara from Sunset's on Empire. Tilted Cross is another acoustic song - catchy and calm. Fish drawls out the syllables, making them flow just like the song flows. You'll hear it - you'll catch that flow. The best unplugged Fish has to offer. 'Faith Healer' is an Alex Harvey Band. I prefer this to the original version, mainly because Fish's rough and dynamic voice and Wilson's & Boult's guitars. The orchestrated part's have surely something to do with Pete Gabriel's (yes! yet again the mimicry of the Great One! ;) ) Down the Dolce Vita. Quite good for a gig.

The first (and also the less proggy, more rocky) part ends here and now with Rites of Passage. A sad tune it is. The keyboards and strings (a round of applause for Davey Crichton & Mickey Simmonds) play a significant part here. Again I hear Gabriel - a combination of Here Comes the Flood and Zaar (if you take the drum's and reduce the volume).

And the music fades. Time to switch sides. Or listen again to tracks: 1, 2, 4 and 6.

The Plague of Ghosts suite isn't what you'd expect from Fish. Even if you take his whole solo career into account. It's... really it's... AMBIENT! Well not all of it but a very huge portion (track's 1-4). Old Haunts is a long introduction to the suite, where Fish almost cries out the lyrics. The vigorous Digging Deep, apart from the obvious Gabriel connections (Digging in the Dirt, anyone?), is really similar to Jungle Ride (from Sunsets on Empire), but more... ambient; it even has the spoken part. Chocolate Frogs is a gloomy, semi-spoken, semi-cried, ambient effect-filled bridge, which smoothly changes to Waving at Stars. This one is nice and original; whereas in Tumbledown the piano was supposed to resemble rain, here the rain effects are produced by the loops and ambient percussion. Waving... fades opening the grande finale of Raingods Dancing & Wake Up Call. Raingods... have a really chilling chorus and a fantastic piano, and most important Fish's thrilling voice (the last verses are shouted out). A real masterpiece. Did I say that there are no standalone masterpieces on this album? Well, actually - Raingods Dancing together with Wake Up Call certainly serve as one. Wake Up Call (Make It Happen) is a bit more calm and upbeat than the rest of the creepy Plague..., more Fish-like. taking various elements from Sunsets... (it seems that SoE is a real turning point in Fish's music-making). It brings to mind the (Happy) ending of Clutching at Straws, and it's nearly at the same level musically.

A must-have for Fish fans. Side A for the ones who rock. Side B for the ones who prog.

Best song: Side A: the whole Plague of Ghosts with emphasis on the last two (or three) tracks.

And the final word: the lack of Frank Usher REALLY suits Fish. Less Usher, more Wilson... unfortunately Fish prefers the former. Too bad.

Mike_Zed | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this FISH review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.