Fish - Feast of Consequences

Fish Feast of Consequences cover
Feast of Consequences
Chocolate Frog Record Company
The big man, Derek Dick, better known simply as Fish, or the ex-Marillion singer is back after more than half a decade, since his last effort “The 13rth Star” for what turns out to be the 10th album in his long and illustrious career.
“Feast of Consequences” is an album that manages to defiantly be an album into the now, but staying faithful to the artists roots, without holding him pinned down to a certain genre. It’s mostly thanks to the keen intellect of its creator that manages to set thought into prose and then to song, so eloquently that it all seems so easy... to take a snapshot of the crazy times we live in and then create a bit of a minor lyrical masterpiece out of it.
“Perfume River” which opens the album, with a lone piper in the distance, piping away and then spends most of its imposing 10 minutes duration, cloaked in a melancholic mantle, before it breaks away from that and flairs up into a more up-tempo direction, while maintaining its somber atmosphere, apart from being a daring opener, is an absolute instant “Fish” classic.
In stark contrast “All Loved Up” is taking a shot at the celebrity obsessed, internet mad people of today, who seek instant gratification and worship. It’s a little up-tempo rocker, not a million miles away stylistically from the “Big Wedge” sans the horns, really managing to poke fun at all those pretty fucked up characters/caricatures.
“Blind to the Beautiful” is an all-acoustic treat, that almost works as the polar opposite of its predecessor. It’s a ballad about loss. But not loss of a loved one or loss of a lover. It mourns and laments in a simple yet “beautiful” way, the loss of humanity, the loss of hope that we as humans might show compassion and love and understanding to each other and to all around us. Every word, uttered hits the bone and hurts – with beauty emanating from each wound.
The Title track “Feast of Consequences” is a mid-paced almost rocker, again, with brilliant lyrics, where “the loss of love” in a relationship is compared to the planet running out of resources, (something that would affect us all), in the most brilliant and poetic way. And the closing line, is just brilliant. Whereas the song is at full swing, Fish, just goes... “It’s a feast of consequences, seems like I'm dining alone...” haha. Brilliant!
“High Wood Suite” is a 5 part suite, comprised of 5 separate songs, that tells a tale from the First Great War (WW1). It’s a bold undertaking as it actually takes up half of the album, but it’s also a very gratifying piece, that shows that Fish is unafraid to follow his instinct and create even a long conceptual multi-part piece to tell a story as every great artist should.
“High Wood” that actually introduces us to the story, is initially half spoken, (in a gravely serious voice), half sung, against some soft piano, before a marching rhythm breaks through and the entire piece takes a more symphonic direction, with even female backing vocals and orchestral hits, coming into the mix. Cycling through all of these, a great tension is created, and the beautiful chorus // verses cut through as bullets... bringing some much needed release.
“Crucifix Corner” that follows some German spoken word piece, begins as a melancholy drenched, bittersweet prayer, but midway, changes gear into a mid tempo epic, guitar/riff driven affair, that only comes full circle, back to its melancholic roots, to tell that the reaper once more is the only victor on the battlefield.
Then all by the sudden “The Gathering” comes about with its fairground theatrics, and fanfares, telling about how the youth of then, enlisted to lay down their lives for the “greater good”?! It breaks the suits minor key, pessimism, with its optimistic tone, but it doesn’t last for long…
As “Thistle Alley” burns every hope to cinders… possibly the darkest most nightmarish, certainly the heaviest song on “Feast”, it offers an uneasy backdrop, upon which Fish, condemns the horrors of war in the most poetic way...
“The Leaving” brings the suite to a close, in a similar, fashion to the “High Wood”. Half spoken, half sung, with only smoking rabble and carnage left to recount... but it’s important that some remember, “...Lest we Forget as we march to… a brave new word”. Indeed this suite is a magnificent accomplishment for Fish and his band.
“The Other Side of Me” laments the lost youth in a way, but it’s not exactly bitter. It somehow, celebrates the continuity of one’s lifetime, all the experiences, the realization that all experiences old and new, belong to the same one self that is the same person. It’s more like a trip down to memory lane.
Finally, “The Great Unraveling”, is a very atmospheric and smooth track, an ideal album closer, with Fish, trading lines with a female vocalist, over the dramatic, somewhat bittersweet chorus, before the song just drifts into non-existence steadily but smoothly...
Overall a pretty amazing piece of work, by Fish and co, that will certainly appease his fan base and could potentially win him a few new fans, of disgruntled neo-prog fans looking for something deeper and more substantial. While it’s not a complete throwback to Fish’s early style, it handpicks the best elements from that era and fuses them with the best aspects of Fish’s later work, managing to create a very strong standard of musicality and storytelling that makes “feast” the minor triumph that it is.