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New Jersey’s Sam Fishman of the band Madison Rising is back with another imposing solo release, End of Time. It’s a solo record, but Fishman’s role is closer to that of writer/overseer like Brian Wilson during the recording of Pet Sounds. End of Time is a record in the clear tradition of prog-rock concept albums like Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, and it’s a conscious throwback against modernity. The concept, however, isn’t as clear cut, but the album is instead guided by a series of overarching themes of emotions and mental health, as well as the larger problem of specific societal issues.
There’s a harder, theatrical edge to songs like the slow, brooding “Don’t Forget You Can Breathe” and “Voices Emerge,” and elements of heavy metal enter in as well with the breakneck headbanger “Mantra.” The meat and potatoes of the album is broken up by a number of shorter tracks, each all about a minute or shorter in length. The majority are spoken word with narration from Debbie Grattan, but there are also a few with decidedly classic or traditional folkloric qualities. It’s difficult to tell if these two opposing styles blend seamlessly, but what is without a doubt is the utterly compelling nature that is inherent in End of Time.
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