(Prog Rock/Metal) BILL FISHER - Mass Hypnosis and The Dark Triad album review
Release date August 21, 2020
One of my fave albums of 2019 was undoubtedly the strange and eclectic Church of the Cosmic Skull's Everybody's Going To Die, what I described in a previous review as proggy classic rock with Brian May guitar histrionics and a Peter Gabriel soundalike at the mic. That said, it doesn't quite fully describe the album with its mix of ethereal female backing vocals, pseudo-spiritual packaging and 'never-know-where-they're-going-to-go-next' free-form style of song construction. So, when I heard that lead singer/guitarist Bill Fisher was issuing a solo album, I jumped at the chance to give it some spins.
And multiple listening sessions are indeed required for Mass Hypnosis and The Dark Triad given its strange-to-these-ears sound, mixing heavy metal/hard rock riffing with soothing vocals and harmonizing, along with proggy instrumental breakdowns. Just like Church of the Cosmic Skull, this is weirdly wonderful, but in this case Fisher's solo output is definitely heavier and more guitar orientated. Listen to the bridge in "Days Of Old" and tell me that that doesn't sound like a mix of Priest and Queen guitar layering, or that the riff to opener "All Through The Night" doesn't remind you of Pantera. Then visit the haunting "Celador", a track detailing a run-in with a particularly strange lass who happens to have a hidden, pitch-black basement telling our man to 'Close your eyes and do it like you wanna", then tell me you're not creeped out. And there's five other tracks to enthuse and mull over, making up for a challenging, but supremely satisfying, thirty minutes of prog heaven.
Given my general indifference to all things prog, I'm finding it difficult to understand why Fisher and his main band Church of the Cosmic Skull are making such an impression on this headbanger, but there's no denying their impact given the amount of visits they're getting on my death deck. Mind blowing stuff.