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Album Review: End of Time | Sam Fishman

End of Time by Sam Fishman is a collaborative project that will be enjoyed by anyone who has ever dreamed of meditating on some ancient castle ruins, maybe hanging out with some friendly spirits or even just screaming off of a remote mountain top at the unflinching world below. Simply put, don't go in to this album thinking you know what it's going to be. The album is so unpredictable that a full song doesn't even make an appearance until the fourth track

Intricately assembled over a span of a year and a half with over a dozen different contributors, End of Time alternates between a mix of pensive clips lasting less than a minute, and lengthy ballads roaming past the six minute mark. A contrast of alternating vocals by Ryan Acquaotta and Samantha Cram keep the listener on their toes, jarring any hope of predictability even further with intermittent tracks of violin by Alicia Svigals.

Don't let the soothing tones fool you. Melodic is not the end goal of this album. Progressive rock hits you in the face from all angles, confronting themes of genocide, slavery, incarceration and colonialism head-on. These hard-to-swallow subjects are often followed up with clips of a hybrid art form, falling somewhere between spoken word poetry and guided meditation. The narrator becomes a trusted companion as the album pulls the listener through the story line, offering sentiments such as:

"Breathe. It’s ok. You can breathe again. I can’t tell you if this is a dream or a nightmare. That is for you to decide. It is ok to be uncertain, to not know. We are all infants here, born reaching, grasping, wailing. You wish for joy, but there will be hate. You wish for water, but there will be fire. Don’t forget you can breathe. We are so much more than we could ever dream."

Fishman takes every chance possible to confront social issues head on, with even the music videos venturing into the realm of documentary, showcasing the dangers of texting and driving. Calls for action are everywhere, molded seamlessly in to a homogenous mass of self-acceptance and discovery.

Even with all of the hard-hitting reality being presented, End of Time doesn't leave you feeling helpless. The final line of the entire album is an echoing reassurance:

"You will find peace."

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