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Marillion - This Strange Engine CD (album) cover





3.42 | 561 ratings

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4 stars The beginning of a new era for the band - the first release on an independent label, and also an LP that marks the transition from the old Marillion to the modern band.

I think this is a great LP.

The opener, Man of a Thousand Faces, is all Hogarth. From a slow, acoustic opening, to a rousing end with swirling, powerful, lyrics shouting a choral note.

One Fine Day is a fine ballad, and the bands homage to touring, 80 Days is simply a fun track, and you sympathise with the expressions made.

Estonia is a good, serious, long piece. THe next track is the reason why this is a 4 star rating - Memory of Water is simply a throw away track and quite boring.

An Accidental Man & Hope for the Future are both solid tracks.

The LP's finest track, however, is saved until last. The title track is a backward look at Hogarth's childhood, and he tells the story very well. It is very long at over 15 minutes, and builds up very gently to the climax. There are some beautiful passages of play from the band to complement the story told, and the climax when it comes is all Hogarth emotionally bringing the narrative to a conclusion.

This album sets the template for much of what follows and is a very good piece of work. Highly recommended.

lazland | 4/5 |


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