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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Marillion

A Sunday Night Above the Rain

Review by Gary Hill

You know, Marillion post Fish is a very different beast than Marillion of the Fish era. While there are still peaks and valleys, the music tends not to have the clear definitions or the flashiness. It’s more atmospheric and a lot of tends to sound similar. That said, it’s not that the songs all sound the same. They definitely don’t. It just more of a tapestry event. This album is a new live disc featuring the new version of Marillion. It’s a strong album, but not the easiest thing to do track by track. Still, it’s well worth having.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc 1
Gaza
After an extensive crowd section this powers out into a killer hard rocking jam with Middle-Eastern elements. That gets intersected by a more melodic and soaring movement to lend more of a hopeful vibe. That section, though, is only a brief one. This piece is more bleak than that. It’s often depressing. The harder rocking jam later has an anger and hopelessness to it. It’s almost Hawkwind-like in some ways. This song is definitely topical these days, but probably just about any day. By around the eleven and a half mark it shifts to another melodic movement. There is a bit of a sense of hope here, but still an oppression. Overall, this epic covers a lot of scope, but the message feels like one that rides a line between the dream of hope and the reality of helplessness.
Waiting To Happen
The audience sings a lot of the opening mellower section of this. It powers out into some killer hard rocking sounds from there, though. This live rendition works through the changes with style and charm and works really well.
Lucky Man
This is another powerful modern Marillion tune covering a variety of moods and modes. It rocks out but also lands in mellower territory. It is more of a straight uplifting piece than a lot of the stuff here.
This Strange Engine
A real thrill ride this has mellow sections and powerhouse progressive rock jams. It’s quite a killer tune and works particularly well in this live telling. It’s another piece that’s of epic proportions and scope. It’s really quite a powerhouse. 
Pour My Love
There are some great moods on this mellow rocker. It’s a great tune with some energy and lots of style.
Neverland
This cut is particularly powerful in so many ways. The harder rocking sections just really gel and the mellower ones feel packed with emotion. This is one of my favorites from the first disc.
Invisible Ink
I like this one a lot. It has some great peaks and valleys and a lot of emotion built into it. The vocal performance is one of the best here.
Disc 2
Montréal
This is another highlight as far as I’m concerned. It works through several shifts and changes, but always retains its emotion and power. It’s a beautiful piece of music with a lot of scope and range. This has more of the older Marillion sound built into it than a lot of other pieces here do. There are some seriously soaring moments in this piece, too. It’s another of epic scope and size.
Power
As it should be, this is quite a powerful track. As most of the stuff here, it’s hard to track a particular section or sound down as it’s more of a ride to be undertaken as a whole. It does have some great hard rocking moments and some mellower sections to counterbalance them nicely.
Sounds That Can't Be Made
This is another particularly special piece. It works quite well here. It’s just hard to point out specifics that make it shine. This song was their exit before encore, so it’s followed by a lot of audience reaction.
The King of Sunset Town
I’ve always loved this song from the first time I heard it. This live rendition is quite good.
The Sky above The Rain
There isn’t a huge change in style, but this isn’t like a clone of anything else here. This is more potent modern Marillion. This definitely has some particularly strong sections.
Garden Party
A tune from the Fish era of the band, I love this song. I like this live rendition, too. Hogarth isn’t Fish, but his version is cool. It’s definitely different.
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