Sam Fishman recently dropped his prog rock album, called End of Time, a mythical musical narrative encompassing 15-tracks.
Describing his musical philosophy, Fishman says, “The first album I ever heard was Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. This opened my mind to the possibilities of sound and has always inspired me. As the years have gone by, I’ve felt disappointed with the output of modern rock. I believe that you can be accessible and still maintain a level of experimentation. Let’s not be afraid to challenge listeners and take them on a ride! Let’s throw some twists and turns into rock and roll.”
Even since high school, Fishman knew he wanted to be a professional drummer. In 2004, he toured Europe as part of the American Music Abroad program. In 2006, while studying at the University of Rochester, he was the principal drummer for the University’s Jazz Ensemble. After graduation, he played with the Scott Decarlo Band, recording in Nashville, followed by putting together his own band, Madison Rising, which shared the stage with Shinedown, Aerosmith, Godsmack, Weezer, and Chris Cornell.
Later, he produced recordings in a variety of genres, including hip-hop, folk, rock, and jazz. He performed on and produced Stained Glass and Technicolor Grooves, which featured jazz pianist Misha Piatigorsky. His latest project, End of Time, incorporates a vast array of rock styles, as well as cogent narration.
End of Time opens with the narrative tale of ‘guardians,’ followed by an urgent solo violin number of soaring beauty. The highlights on the album include “Omens,” a melodic prog rock number shimmering with gorgeous guitars and a powerful flowing rhythm. A delicious harmonic hiatus of surfacing synths presages pulsing guitars ramping up to hypertrophic metal intensity.
“Stolen Lives” rides a muscular tune flavored with prog rock and metalcore aromas. Simmering, seething guitars imbue the music with dark, ominous energy, as melodic vocals flow overhead. This is a grand song, potent and opaquely textured. “Mantra” combines punk energy with wild thrash metal ferocity, as growling, wailing guitars infuse the tune with surging dynamism. The guitar licks on this song are wicked, while the drums pulse with Jovian heft.
“A Short Dream” and “A Short Dream Revisited” are my two favorite tracks on the album because of their delicacy and gossamer textures, like dream-suffused classical music.
The juxtaposition of narrative and musical tracks gives the album a Tolkien-like essence pregnant with mysterious symbolism.
Marvelously wrought, End of Time creates an alluring sonic vista, strange as a dream, while simultaneously asserting its vitality. End of Time is a work of pure genius.