Title: Mondo Fiction
Genre: Metal / Prog / Soundtrack / Film Score / Pop
Release Date: 4th February 2022
Label: Self Released
OPENSIGHT have been thrashing out their idiosyncratic blend of metal, prog rock, film score with 1970s flavour music since their inception in the early 2000s. Ivan David Amaya being the only constant in the 20-year journey of the band. ‘Mondo Fiction’ is their first full length release since 2008s ‘Prosthetic Soul’. If the ‘Ulterior Motives’ EP had one more track on it then I’d count that as their second long player but it doesn’t, so it isn’t! Anyway, ‘Mondo Fiction’ spans 48 minutes retains its film score DNA intermixed and topped with prog metal condiment.
‘Stained Remains’ starts off on the down low and then rises up to the point where the bass still airs its thick goo but the guitars flit off elsewhere to create vast panoramas of sound accompanied by piano trinkles and exuberant drumming. There’s also an Exorcist to this! Up and down the bass goes on ‘Another New Beginning’ for 53 seconds, machine gunning towards the end and fading into ‘Primitive Principle’. The bass is low again and stepped. There’s a self-absorbed swagger to this, not cocky just self-absorbed as if everyone has joined together is this “place” where all the energies align.
Johnny Cash, Dick Dale and Wah Wah, or that noise you make when you try to speak with a mouth full of jelly is how ‘Curse’ starts. For the next five minutes I’m playing air guitar, drumming with pencils, head banging and contorting my face as if I’m playing all the parts myself. There’s a line that you don’t cross when playing and that’s when the ego commandeers the controls and tells the fingers to go for it. The line is never crossed here, it's touched and prodded but never crossed. That’s what keeps this track within the realms of being fabulously enjoyable.
‘Horror Vacui’ is a minute or so of tinkling suspense, like a shadow with claws creeping up a wall and getting more menacing as it climbs, before shifting gear back into the 1970s muted chug guitar, attitude in abundance of ‘Villain’. How would I describe this? Furtive is how I’d rise to that question as the steely strings slice a path through the opening bars along with the stalking bassline. But as I proceed with the listening experience one feels as if the track is becoming less grabby and I start to lose focus and wander. The guitar at the midpoint seems to be played in a light and feathery way as if the pick is barely touching the strings. This offers some pleasing satisfaction to the ear as the workmanlike bass huffs everything forward whilst the drums shimmy and shuffle through the gaps. The ethereal and ghostly androgynous vocal in the background that does not last for long adds another layer, too.
The final track, ‘Thunderball’, is OPENSIGHT’s homage to the James Bond movie of the same name that came out in 1965 and originally had Sir Tom Jones singing the title track. OPENSIGHT’s effort is in keeping with the original and does not stray too far from it. If the movie was remade OPENSIGHT’s version, as an instrumental, would fit nicely over the top. Vocally though, no one can compete with the baritone of the boy from Pontypridd!
Anyway, in summary, this is a good album. I like it. A lot of work went into it and I feel it's an album marking a coming of age of OPENSIGHT as a band and will be used as a springboard into bigger and better things in the future. There are many influences here that are signposted albeit in subtle homage like Lalo Schifrin, Mike Oldfield and James Bond themes through the decades. If you like music that references the 1970s, a time where creativity was still fruitful and where the world was still full of the possible. If you like music that has a seriousness about it that is veined with lines of humorous satisfaction without any hint of self-indulgent BS then I recommend you check this out!
01. In Here With Us
02. The Great Silence
03. Plot Twist
04. Stained Remains
05. Another New Beginning
06. Primitive Principle
08. Horror Vacui
Ivan David Amaya - Guitars
Redd Reddington - Drums and Percussion
Neil McLaughlin - Guitars
Duncan Arkley - Bass
Total: 8 / 10