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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5

48 Ratings

A Mesmerising Masterpiece


FEAR opens with the cool acoustic breeze of Long-Shadowed Sun (Part i of Eldorado) where Hogarth pines for the England of his youth before we're sucked into the vortex of Eldorado's subsequent sections by Mark Kelly's Clockwork Orange-like keyboard setting the tone nicely for an album full of rich and textured music with vocals railing against an increasingly selfish, greedy and isolationist world.

The climax of the album is New Kings, as close to perfection as an almost 17 minute track has the right to be. Released ahead of its live debut in July for those lucky enough to have signed up for the album pre-order. New Kings, as the name suggests, has Hogarth focusing his rapier-like lyrics on the invisible and unelected bankers, industrialists and oligarchs that pulls the world's strings from behind tinted, mirrored glass.

The Leavers resonates with the guilt that a musician, or anyone that travels far from their family on a regular basis feels. Its countered with the selfish longing to be back on that very same road when life at home becomes too mundane for a restless soul.

Living in FEAR and White Paper both sit comfortably on the album, but could quite happily stand alone, the former for its optimism and the latter for its haunting beauty tinged with regret.

FEAR might be their eighteenth studio album, four years in the making, but it delivers the sound of a band so comfortable in their own skin that it takes you on a 68-minute journey of sublime music that you never want to end. So lay back, slip on your headphones, and let the FEAR wash over you again and again.

Masters of Prog Rock have done it again!


This is arguably their best album since Marbles. There are no bands any more than can compose 15+ minute songs with such a level of quality in sound and lyrics and with the additional protest component about inequality and injustice in today´s world. Hats down to the best prog band in the world. It is a masterpiece that should catapult them into the long awaited and well deserved Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

About Marillion

Marillion emerged from the brief progressive rock revival of the early '80s to become an international recording and touring phenomenon who have sold more than 15 million albums and host fan clubs in ten nations. The band helped pioneer the development of fan-funded music and touring support, beginning in 1997. Marillion's music, while remaining on the progressive, artful side of rock, has evolved to embrace post-punk pop, indie and experimental rock, and even funk and electronica. Each album is different than its predecessor.

The group formed in Aylesbury, England in 1979 and adopted its original name, Silmarillion, from the title of a J.R.R. Tolkien novel. Initially, Marillion were comprised of guitarist Steve Rothery, bassist Doug Irvine, keyboardist Brian Jelliman, and drummer Mick Pointer, but after recording "The Web," an instrumental demo, they recruited vocalist Fish (born Derek Dick) and bassist Diz Minnitt. Prior to recording their debut single, "Market Square Heroes," keyboardist Mark Kelly and bassist Pete Trewavas replaced Jelliman and Minnitt.

Marillion issued their debut album, Script for a Jester's Tear, in 1983, and on the strength of a relentless touring schedule they won a loyal following. With new drummer Ian Mosley (formerly of Curved Air) firmly in place, they returned to the studio for 1984's Fugazi, which streamlined the intricacies of the group's prog rock leanings in favor of a more straight-ahead hard rock identity; the refinements paid off, and both "Assassin" and "Punch and Judy" became British hits. With 1985's Misplaced Childhood, an elaborate conceptual album reflecting Fish's formative experiences, Marillion earned their greatest success to date: the lush ballad "Kayleigh" reached the number two position on the U.K. charts, and became a hit in the U.S. as well. The follow-up, "Lavender," was also a smash, but the group began crumbling: Fish developed alcohol and drug problems, and egos ran rampant. After 1987's Clutching at Straws (and the 1988 live effort The Thieving Magpie), Fish left the band for a solo career.

The initial release of post-Fish Marillion did not substantially alter the sound the band had displayed on Misplaced Childhood and Clutching at Straws. The addition of lyricist John Helmer and lyricist/vocalist Steve Hogarth came after the band had developed much of the musical material for Season's End, and few alterations in style were made. The follow-up, Holidays in Eden, was intended as a more mainstream rock album but failed to attract a wider audience. Marillion's record label, EMI, gave the band a higher budget for the next album and the result of 15 months of labor was Brave, a concept album that mixed classic symphonic progressive rock with standard rock. The following release, Afraid of Sunlight, considerably altered the band's approach with great success -- it is the most consistent Marillion release to date.

Following Afraid of Sunlight, the bandmembers split up briefly to record side projects. Hogarth released Ice Cream Genius under the name H, Rothery formed the Wishing Tree (which produced Carnival of Souls), and Mosley and Trewavas joined Iris for Crossing the Desert. The Rothery and Hogarth projects were both very acoustic in nature, and when the band re-formed for This Strange Engine in 1997, Marillion's style changed again to a softer sound.

After the release of This Strange Engine, Marillion scheduled a European tour, but keyboardist Kelly posted an online message stating that the band would not tour the United States due to a lack of record company support. Fans of the band worldwide joined forces to raise over $60,000 to underwrite the tour, and the band undertook its largest North American tour since Holidays in Eden. In 1998, the band returned to the studio to record its tenth album, Radiation. Again changing styles, the effort showed the influences of the Beatles and Radiohead, specifically OK Computer. Marillion.com followed in 1999, and the early part of the new century saw the release of two additional studio albums, 2001's Anoraknophobia and 2004's Marbles, the latter displaying the influences of both U2 and Pink Floyd. While both of these albums were closely followed by themed live releases, the second of these -- 2005’s Marbles Live -- featured on-stage renditions that were arguably stronger than their comparative studio takes.

Breaking away from the meticulous approach to production offered by longtime collaborator Dave Meegan, Marillion employed Michael Hunter in 2007 to oversee the recording of their 14th studio album, Somewhere Else. In terms of sales, it was their most successful release in almost a decade and featured the U.K. hit single "Thank You Whoever You Are."

In 2008, Hunter also produced their ambitious two-volume work, Happiness Is the Road, before a back-to-basics, self-recorded acoustic album -- Less Is More -- was issued the following year, featuring pared-down versions of post-1994 Marillion material. Their next full-blown studio album was 2012's politically motivated Sounds That Can’t Be Made, which included the sprawling 17-minute "Gaza." The following year a live performance from their 2013 biannual weekend festival in Port Zelande, Netherlands, was recorded. Titled A Sunday Night Above the Rain, the album was expected to be released in 2014. The band's provocatively titled 18th studio album FEAR (Fuck Everyone and Run) would arrive in 2016, coinciding with a world tour throughout the second half of the year to promote its release. Early in 2017, Marillion delivered the live Marbles in the Park, a double-disc performance of the complete album during the 2015 Marillion Weekend at Center Parcs, Port Zelande, Netherlands. ~ Jason Ankeny & Dale Jensen

    Aylesbury, England

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