Reviewed by Nuno on 09 Feb 2002
After the departure of Fish from the collective, Marillion seemed to have lost their path and some would say they were headed for oblivion. The arrival of Steve Hogarth allow them to continue their fantastic career even if obligatory changing a lot of their concept and musicality.
If it is true that the complexity and intricate composition was somehow lost, along with the true poetic lyricism and distinctive voice of Fish, the truth is that their music maintained the needed quality to continue marvelling generations of proggers.
Looking at the lyrics in this album, is quite obvious that they have changed from complex prose, full of charade and double meaning (courtesy of Fish) to a more direct, social aware and critic concerns. Still, the lyrics maintain their beauty, only in a new level of consciousness.
Also Hogarth’s voice is impressive, filled with grieve and hope, in a mood changing display of talent. All songs are sung with true expression, emotion and soul.
In terms of music, this album is a filler! When it ends you have experienced beautiful melodies, ravishing guitar solos with the distinct signature of Steve Rothery, delightful harmonies and changes of rhythm.
The music is also more direct and somehow less difficult to absorb than in pre-Hogarth albums, but never less than brilliant. You get the feeling that you are listening to a reborn band, with new intentions, new approaches, but always setting the parameters of their quality in the highest level. I am the first to admit that I do prefer the Fish era, but discovering the post-Fish Marillion has been a most rewarding experience.
Songs like Easter or Seasons End are shivering, they really touch the listener. King of Sunset Town is another high point and The Space is true magic, from the way it is construct, to the way it is sung, passing through the fantastic lyrics…one of my favourite Marillion songs after 1988.
One thing I am sure though, this band hasn’t lost the ability to write music that the listener capture has a breath, as an idea, as a part of his own soul exposed for all to hear but for everyone to feel as his own.
Reviewed by Ronald on 30 Mar 2006
After Fish's departure, Steve Hogarth was brought into the band. His first outing with band, 1989's Season's End, removed all doubts about the band's future. Hogarth's unique, expressive voice fit Marillion perfectly; on the full-throttle rock assault of "The Uninvited Guest" or the emotional "After You," Hogarth's singularity is unmistakable. The heartfelt "Easter," with its imaginative electric-acoustic arrangement, is another showcase for Hogarth's talents. Marillion's ability to write music whose ideals live and breathe in the listener continues on Seasons End, particularly on the inspiring "Holloway Girl," which dissects the injustice of incarcerating mentally ill female inmates (at England's Holloway Prison) instead of placing them in appropriate psychiatric facilities. The beautiful "Easter" is the band's plea for peace in Ireland, while "The King of Sunset Town" has its lyrical roots in the massacre at Tiananmen Square. Hogarth's flexible range and beautiful phrasing shine on the entire album. In 1999 Marillion released a remastered version of Seasons End, including a bonus disc of outtakes and alternate versions as well as the previously unreleased "The Bell in the Sea" and "The Release." Both are strong tracks and are welcome additions to the Marillion catalog.
This album is one of the greatest albums of the late 80's.Steve Hogarth introduction and one of the greatest prog-Sympho the UK has ever produced. Also for pro Fish fanatics this album should be in your record collection.One of the biggest assets Steve has over fish is that he plays the piano,keyboards. Don't get me wrong Fish is a great songwriter but Steve Hogarth gives just that much more in his songs.Marillion in this line-up produced many fine and great records but Season's End is the best effort for me.