Despite eighteen albums in the bag, Marillion is launched at full speed, powered by the unwavering desire to continue the adventure. After thirty-five years, the band is now sailing on stormy waters, but fully controlled. And look ahead.
Great perfectionists, the musicians have once again recorded at Real World Studios. Many jam sessions, sometimes at night to give flesh to the ambient atmosphere. With the desire to make no compromise, the purpose stays free. As the song “Living in Fear”, there is no time to lose. And so, who knows how many albums are still left? Should we not work things out as a last breath, a musical testament as complete and honest as possible? Perhaps the answer is in the four letters of the title.
When many old bands are asleep rather than transforming or reinventing themselves, our friends are still here (without any “fear”) with a collection of five songs including three long ones crossing the fifteen minutes. The texts slam around music which intelligently recycles the typical sound of the quintet. But the words are tough: corruption, loneliness, loss of values, abandonment… the picture is not very pleasing but, like a brilliant paradox, FEAR is never a gloomy depression. Melancholy, spleen, confusion are still here but the album doesn’t fall into pure pathos.
By continuing to deal with personal obsessions like the life on the road, far away from home (“The Leavers”), Marillion confirms what they started with “Montreal” and “Gaza” from the turbulent Sounds That Can not Be Made (2013). Invested politically, the group leaves its usual comfort zone. But all this narration over what we could consider like a great soundtrack could destabilize at first listen.
It must be said, FEAR (what a very symbolic title) is so honest, so right that it is not immediately enjoyable. It is a master work that deserves! If the legacy of the past is still here, the album is playing on details, suggesting a weightless lyricism (“White Paper”). And this way of coating the emotional pathos eventually intrigue, fascinate in this ability to let pierce light in the greyness of storytelling (“El Dorado”). The fans will understand that Marillion does not care of the rest. So, all musicians are on top (mention to Pete Trevawas and Steve Rothery), the vocals are completely inspired, so emotional, with great words, and last but not least, the production is completely bright. In few words: this album is simply awesome and exciting. Like a slow poison (“We Are the New Kings”), FEAR make itself in us and proves the great talent of the band to compose spectral songs with grace without complacency about the current world. Here, Marillion manages to twist its own universe and delivers a work disillusioned, of extreme delicacy. As a new metabolism.
MARILLION – F E A R
Title: F E A R (F*** Everyone And Run)
Year : 2016
1. El Dorado (I) Long-Shadowed Sun
2. El Dorado (II) The Gold
3. El Dorado (III) Demolished Lives
4. El Dorado (IV) F E A R
5. El Dorado (V) The Grandchildren of Apes
6. Living in F E A R
7. The Leavers (I) Wake Up In Music
8. The Leavers (II) The Remainers
9. The Leavers (III) Vapour Trails in the Sky
10. The Leavers (IV) The Jumble of Days
11. The Leavers (V) One Tonight
12. White Paper
13. The New Kings (I) F*** Everyone and Run
14. The New Kings (II) Russia’s Locked Doors
15. The New Kings (III) A Scary Sky
16. The New Kings (IV) Why is Nothing Ever True?
17. The Leavers (VI) Tomorrow’s New Country
– Steve Hogarth / voice
– Steve Rothery / guitars
– Mark Kelly / keyboards
– Peter Trewavas / bass
– Ian Mosley / drums & percussion