Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * * *
Beware the anger of a patient man, don’t let his gentle voice, melodious, gentle and at all times spiritual speech, his wonderment of expression, fool you, don’t be deceived by the nature of the man because when he is angry, when he finally snaps and decides to come out fighting, that is the greatest wrath of them all and you can either batten down the hatches, join him in his fury or Fuck Everybody And Run.
The anger of a tolerant man knows no bounds and when he is joined in the mission by those who capture the essence of the rage that is on the verge of exploding like a volcano and yet who capture the point with their own passion, their own serene comfort; the mission statement becomes so much more alive, more dangerous and one that is born in fire.
This is arguably no ordinary album by Marillion, if they have actually done one during their distinguished careers, it is one that sees the band produce something so magical, so haunting, that the world which has become so abject and unconcerned in its fear that it has become stagnant, repugnant and lacking in moral compassion and empathy, has at least something to hold on to; this is not about running away from our responsibilities to our fellow human being, not closing our eyes to the pain and misery, this is the only way that we might save our own blackening souls.
The album retains its haunting aspect throughout, Steve Hogarth, soft voice, good heart, true observer of life, speaks volumes with a voice that is hushed, whispered and peaceful but to whom the words could level mountains and destroy the armies of indifference, greed and apathy if they were heeded beyond the realms of the enormous fan base, if they were hard wired into every sadist pretending to be humane, parading in the skin of thoughtful.
F.E.A.R is an album of extreme quality, devastatingly beautiful, Steve Rothery, Mark Kelly, Ian Mosley and Pete Trewavas make the music come so alive that the heartbeat of the band, that key element that has kept them fresh, original and inventive, pumps with delirium, with musical valour and unsullied devotion. Each song is an angry, furious note to all, we have lost our way, rotting in the lack of compassion, quick to blame somebody else for our own misfortune, not able to look someone in the eye when they desperately need help and more quick to stamp on them as they flounder and drown in rough seas; this is the truth of the album and it is overwhelming.
“We have nothing to fear but fear itself”, Franklin Delano Roosevelt said in his inaugural address to the American People; Fuck Everybody And Run is the reminder of the brink we stand on today, that F.E.A.R. is the ending and the beginning, we must have the courage to see all we have destroyed put right, we must not fear, we must learn from it.
A masterpiece of emotional writing, of sublime music, F.E.A.R. in this case dominates and it is exceptional.
Ian D. Hall