Vigil In a Wilderness of Mirrors is the first album Fish made after his departure from the band Marillion. Marillion had already released their first post-Fish album Season’s End that began what has been described as the “Hogarth-era.” I will stand tall (maybe not as tall as Fish) and proclaim that Vigil is better than the first two Marillion releases fronted by Steve Hogarth. They found their way back with the release Brave in 1994, but that is the subject of another review, This review is about the very talented Mr. Derek Dick.
Fish had explored lyrical themes of a personal and political nature all the way back to the beginning of his career with Marillion, but finds his way to go even deeper on some songs on Vigil like “Family Business” and “The Company.” These ballads are quite personal and lovely. Fish has the most success on this CD when he stays in the realm of progressive rock or when he slows down and sings some lovely pieces like “”State of Mind” and “A Gentleman’s Excuse Me” as well as those previously mentioned.
The strongest cuts for me are when he stays in the progressive rock realm that we are all comfortable with like opener “Vigil,” the two closers “View From the Hill” and especially “Cliché.” These are direct extensions of the neo-prog scene we were used to when he was singing with his previous band. I’m not as fond of the attempts at uptempo rock like “Big Wedge” and “Voyeur,” although your mileage may vary.
This is for many the strongest release for Fish and I would recommend this recording to anyone who enjoyed the first four Marillion albums.
Reviewed by Terry Jackson on July 30th, 2010