I never heard anything from Fish before this album. I looked into what and who Fish is, and listened to a few songs he did as the vocalist of Marillion back in the ’80s (and I wasn’t impressed). That was a bit of a surprise, because A Feast of Consequences is very different.

Feast of Consequences

The first thing that caught my attention was the use of harmonics in the opening song. The rest of the album then followed.

It’s a classic rock album with all the strengths and weaknesses that brings. As for the latter: I just couldn’t shake off the “I’ve heard this before” feeling. Some musical phrases, some lyrical structures, some composition choices are just so typical classic rock that any fan of ’70s-’80s rock could effortlessly name other songs that use them.

Don’t get me wrong: Fish is (probably) not ripping off old songs, just the concepts are common. The execution is great. I could mention the keyboards in All Loved Up or the fantastic musical tension in High Wood in addition to the harmonics of Perfume River I’ve mentioned already. It doesn’t sound old either – while using classic themes, it still manages to retain a clear, new feel to it.

It’s pretty easy listening too (at least until you start paying attention to the lyrics). The other day I put the album on while driving, and the colleague who was with me noted how gentle it is (much lighter than expected from me).

The lyrics are quite heavy though. Most songs have something important to say, be that about the role of the individual in modern society, climate change or war. If I’d have to pick the major topic of the album, that’d be war. I think a good half of the album is about the age and the terrors of the First World War – a topic made especially relevant by that this year is the 100th anniversary of the start of the war.