Looking back, the reviews for Marillion’s tenth album were lukewarm on its release in 1998. Coming off the back of the more straight-ahead This Strange Engine, it saw the band return to their more anthemic sound in parts, but bring in some profound, post-rock style longeurs. Toggling between the new and original discs, both included here, Michael Hunter’s superb 2013 remix and remaster reveals just what these processes can really do.
And so the superfluous noise-rock intro of opener Costa Del Slough has been excised, along with the annoying ‘phone-line’ filter on Steve Hogarth’s voice on The Answering Machine, and the album’s EQ has been beefed up, so this personal, textured work can sing.
There’s heartbreak, experience and reality here in spades. The perils-of-fame story Three Minute Man tells a tale; Hogarth delivers Now She’ll Never Know – about the breakdown of trust between lovers – with a fragile falsetto, and the soulful Born To Run features sublime performances from Steve Rothery and Mark Kelly.
If you’ve ever suffered from insomnia, Cathedral Walls captures its cruelty well, and more vividly here. Indeed, you’ll never need lose sleep over the original again.