11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A Feast For The Ears!,
This review is from: A Feast of Consequences (Audio CD)
What an album this is. It's been a good long while since 2007's quite superb '13th Star' and as far as Fish is concerned, it's been time spent in and out of hospital and traveling.
'A Feast of Consequences' sees the big man in resurgent form. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that this album could well be the best thing he's recorded as a solo artist.
Opening track 'Perfume River' gets things going beautifully. A lovely, atmospheric slow-burner which eventually kicks into life with some jangling acoustic guitars and toe-tapping beat. Inspired by Fish's time exploring Vietnam, it's one of the strongest tracks on offer here.
'All Loved-Up' is a rocky, tongue-in-cheek swipe at z-list, celebrity culture with a catchy riff. Mood-wise, it's a bit of a departure from the rest of the album, but provides a light, accessible respite from the intensity of the other tracks.
'Blind to the Beautiful' is a gorgeous, if a little bleak ballad. Very emotive and sombre in tone, Fish deals with climate change and the ignorance and greed concerned. It's beautifully sung with the kind of thought-provoking lyricism that only he can deliver.
The title track comes next and is another highlight. A great driving rock track; it's an instant grabber that would sound fantastic on the radio.
The main thrust/spine of this record is 'The High Wood Suite'. A mini rock opera based on the horrors of World War 1, it's arguably the most ambitious piece of music Fish has ever laid down. 'Crucifix Corner' and 'Thistle Alley' are the best sections in this opus, with crunching guitars and hard-hitting lyrics that throw you straight into the terror. With anniversaries of the conflict taking place throughout 2014, 'The High Wood Suite' is a wholly, appropriate creative piece that should be heard and absorbed by all. Musically and lyrically, it's stayed with me since I first listened to it.
The last two tracks see Fish continuing to reflect. 'The Other Side of Me' is another reflective ballad which sees Fish performing a duet with Elizabeth Antwi once again (she sang on 'Incomplete' from 1999's 'Raingods With Zippos'). Closing track 'The Great Unravelling' has a proggier feel to it as Fish tackles DNA and genetics in another absorbing track. It finishes the album perfectly.
'A Feast of Consequences' finds Fish in great fettle. He's in good voice and delivers his finest vocal performances in years. Lyrically, rather than deal with the traumas and experiences of his own life, Fish looks outward at the world and tackles a variety of topics. His backing band of Robin Boult, Steve Vantsis and co provide unfussy music, with an organic, semi-acoustic base that delivers nice textures and atmospheres. Foss Patterson's work on 'The High Wood Suite' provide a widescreen setting, perfect for Fish's lyrics. Mark Wilkinson's stunning artwork completes what in my opinion is the best recorded work of any artist I've heard in 2013.