Marillion returns with their eighteenth album FEAR (Fuck Everyone And Run). The release features five brand new tracks and the feeling within the band themselves is that they may well have produced their best work ever. Marillion has certainly not mellowed with age; the album artwork shows the acronym FEAR embossed on a gold ingot, and the songs themselves bear the hallmark of true quality.
Whilst the album title itself is certainly provocative, it's not meant to be offensive. The title itself features as a line in the track "New Kings" and is delivered as a plaintive falsetto. Steve Hogarth said, "We've used ‘FEAR' as a title with some relish, but only as it shows that we haven't shied away, but it's said with sadness. There are two basic impulses behind human behaviour: Love and Fear, and all the good stuff comes from love."
FEAR sees the band taking on the big themes but they do not see it as their place to preach to people. "New Kings" looks at the ravening beast that modern capitalism seems to have evolved into, "El Dorado" examines the notions of political entitlement and the modern challenges for the UK, "The Leavers" examines the impact of a transient life on the road for those constantly waving goodbye. The job is simple says Hogarth, "We use the amazing privilege of having both a platform and an audience to encourage people to look in the mirror and ask themselves the big questions – by doing just that ourselves."
Buoyed by the feeling that on FEAR they have very much nailed both the music and the lyrics, Marillion are looking forward to touring the new material. The focus has been on bottling that lightning that typifies the creative process, staying away from the safety zone and getting it right. Hogarth adds, "We don't know how many more albums we'll make, or how long we'll live. Everything has to be the best it can be."