Fizbers -
Die Without A Living

(CD 2018, Lynx Music LM151CD)

The tracks:
  1- I Am The Remedy(5:15)
  2- They Fade(2:14)
  3- „54”(6:13)
  4- Deal Of Red(4:04)
  5- Shape(4:15)
  6- C.E.L.(5:47)
  7- Die Without Living(17:01)

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Fizbers is a new Polish Neo-prog band formed in April 2016. One year later the band recorded a demo with 13 songs and then their debut CD entitled First Mind (2017, see review). I wrote in my review: “This promising new Polish prog formation reminds me of Pendragon, also a band with simply structured music, with the focus on melody, harmony and emotion. I am looking forward to the development of Fizbers!”

Well, on this second effort again the focus is on melody, harmony, and emotion, this time dark, very dark emotion, as the depressive title of the album already suggests. A few examples;
“In the place of joy, a pylon stands, killing us all, the joke is perfect, we do kill ourselves (They Fade).
“I'm not a pillow for the needles, I'm not a fucking punching bag, my patience also has its limit, I see your tears and I don't care (54)”.
“Here comes the blood, red like her lips, and it reaches your mind, as you try get in, they locked the doors, and the key that used to open her heart (Deal Of Red).
And finally, the title track: “We forgot we're only like tears in rain, we can't get used to pain, we're waiting our lives, our health, money and then we die, die without living”.
Remarkable is how often the singer sounds like Nick Barrett from Pendragon. In the track 54 female guest singer Milena Locksmith colours the emotional vocals about a relationship with high pitched vocals, the slightly hysterical undertone emphasizes the anger and despair.
Of course, we can expect dark atmospheres with this kind of dark lyrics, and indeed, most of the 7 compositions feature melancholic climates and vocals, often dreamy with tender piano and acoustic guitar (especially They Fade, Shape). But often halfway through the mellow and dark music turns into a catchy beat or heavy outbursts and bombastic eruptions. During these moments the electric guitar work is outstanding, very moving, with howling, fiery, crying, moving and blistering solos. And I am blown away by the raw wah-wah guitar in the strong opener I Am The Remedy. The guitar is really an ace on this album, not only electric but also acoustic.

The absolute highlight on this album is the final composition, the title track, clocking around 17 minutes. It starts dreamy featuring acoustic guitars, tender piano and melancholic vocals. Then an acceleration, followed by a series of shifting moods, from mellow to bombastic, wonderfully coloured by guitars, vocals and keyboards. The conclusion of this epic composition is very compelling: after a surprising swinging rhythm with piano, an interlude with warm piano follows, then sensitive electric guitar runs, an acceleration with sparkling piano and fiery guitar work, a short dreamy piano piece, culminating in a bombastic outburst with powerful, melancholic vocals, emphasizing the basic mood of this album, dark, very dark.

***+ Erik Neuteboom (edited by Dave Smith)

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