Fish - Weltschmerz

(CD 2020, 42:12/ 42:18, Private Release)

The tracks:
CD 1
  1- Grace Of God(8:19)
  2- Man With A Stick(6:27)
  3- Walking On Eggshells(7:18)
  4- This Party's Over(4:22)
  5- Rose Of Damascus(15:45)
CD 2
  1- Garden Of Remembrance(6:07)
  2- C Song (The Trondheim Waltz)(4:41)
  3- Little Man What Now?(10:54)
  4- Waverley Steps (End of the Line)(13:45)
  5- Weltschmerz(6:51)

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After reading so many great reviews about this new and last album of Fish, I was wondering if I am the only one on this planet who is not so enthusiastic about Weltschmerz.... Do not get me wrong, there are some great moments on this album and lyrically, also vocally, maybe Weltschmerz is truly one of Fish's best album ever, indeed. However, first of all I do not understand why the three songs (Man With A Stick, Little Man What Now?, and Waverley Steps) from his 2018 EP A Parley With Angels, are again released on this new album?? Secondly I truly have to state here that Weltschmerz is musically just as mediocre and uninteresting as A Feast Of Consequences, as all the songs are again acoustic guitar based with almost no solos or other fascinating instrumental passages whatsoever; sad but true! Of course, I know that Fish is a vocalist/composer and writer, and not a guitarist, but honestly, for the love of music and variation, a great guitar solo would have done miracles on this album!!

Weltschmerz opens with Grace Of God, featuring excellent lyrics, but as I said before, musically it goes nowhere; the song swoshes on for eight and a half minutes without any diversity or tempo change..... Walking On Eggshells is more to my liking, as it at least features a few guitar bits, some beautiful orchestral parts, and a very nice chorus indeed! The two short songs, This Party's Over and C Song (The Trondheim Waltz), are both folky and have similarities to older Fish songs like e.g. The Company. They are not really my cup of tea, especially the irritating whistle in This Party's Over gets on my bloody nerves. Garden Of Remembrance is the first highlight of Weltschmerz, a piano based ballad featuring very emotional heartfelt lyrics, while Rose Of Damascus is an epic song, again with great lyrics and even a short guitar solo, hooray... The title track also is a highlight on this album as it has a great melody, and it is a typical Fish prog rock song and more of this sort of material would have improved the album by far. I will not comment the three “old” songs from 2018, but they are certainly not the worst tracks of Weltschmerz...

All in all, I am kind of disappointed as musically Weltschmerz is really not what I hoped for and seeing the fact that this is Fish's farewell album I am even more disappointed. Lyrically and vocally, Weltschmerz, is a fantastic album, proving indeed that Fish is a writer who can sing and not a singer who can write!! Or as Fish states himself: “I am a grey bearded warrior, a poet of no mean acclaim. My words are weapons that I proffer with disdain.”

***+ Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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