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Marillion - This Strange Engine CD (album) cover





3.41 | 532 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars This Strange Engine contains my favourite individual Marillion song, the 15+ minute title track. This epic song is fantastic and features very emotional vocals and lyrics. It also features great keyboard and especially guitar work being allowed to stretch out here more so than on most Marillion songs making This Strange Engine the most progressive piece of music Marillion ever made (or at least since their 80's heyday). In a couple of places the song also rocks harder than most Marillion songs. This album is recommended for this track alone.

Now, what about the other songs on the album? My first impression was that they were boring, sounding very modern and pop. However, they grew on me after a couple of listens. One thing that strikes me is that these songs are more acoustic than we are used to in Marillion's music; acoustic guitars, grand piano, a Balalaika (a traditional Russian instrument) used on Estonia; The Man Of A Thousand Faces has an African "tribal" feel to it towards the end of the song; Hope For The Future has an American country feel in the intro and a Hawaiian sound after that! Is this world music? Well, not really.

What also strikes me is the heavy use of Hammond organ in several songs, not usually associated with Neo-Progressive music. Also, the keyboards are often trying to sound like other instruments like cellos and flutes.

Overall, an interesting album with one great track and some good or decent ones. Good, but non-essential.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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