Robin B. Czar is a singer/songwriter and guitarist hailing from England. His signature sound is a mix of classic rock like Black Sabbath and W.A.S.P. with more modern rock/metal artists like Marilyn Manson and HIM, though he has very much developed a style of his own. He released his first album Nachtgesange (German for ‘Nocturnal chants’) in 2007 where he gained notoriety for his ‘bizarre positivity’ and followed up with Kiss From The Abyss in 2014.
This album, Mission Bizarre, consists of ten tracks and has been 18 months in the making. Musically, it is fairly conventional in terms of structure and chord progression but it is Robin’s quirky vocal delivery and the songs’ subject matter that provide the ‘bizarre’. First track Your Descent To Hell opens with descending harmonized lead guitar before Robin depicts a horrific Saw-type scenario of someone being operated on without an anaesthetic!
This is followed by the dramatic Requiem which contains some powerful riffs and an excellent guitar solo, with a suitably apocalyptic and Gothic tone to the music. The lyrics even quote from the Dies Irae Latin poem used in religious requiems. Third track Free is rather more conventional, about enjoying new found freedom after jilting a lover, whilst She Loved Too Much is catchy but macabre tale of a girl who ends up killing (and sometimes eating) the ones she loves.
Dr. Dog takes the surrealism to ever greater heights with an odd tale of a super intelligent dog that turns on its owners and gives them a sex change using its knowledge of surgery(!). It’s not a song I’d expect One Direction to be covering anytime soon. Mad Scientist carries on the craziness with lyrics about Dr. Herbert West from the Re-Animator films, though this track is most notable for some extremely good guitar playing.
The six minute Grief is a nice change in tone, about the heartbreak of a relationship ending while Kiss Of Death is another pet-themed song – this one is apparently about a cat called Oscar that comforts people about to die. Things get even stranger with Only That One Wish, which claims to have been inspired by then philosopher Rousseau, yet contains rather less than highbrow lyrics, some of which are unprintable here! Closing track Until We Meet Again ends the album on a more serious note, a poignant theme of an old person waiting to be reunited with their departed lover.
Overall, this is an entertaining and refreshing album that breathes new life into the rock/metal genre by combining it with often darkly humorous lyrics and a unique vocal style. Although the ‘bizarre’ theme is manifest throughout, there are a couple of more emotional, sensitive tracks that act as a good contrast. I can see Robin B. Czar building up a strong cult following amongst the rock and metal community.
Verdict: 8.3 out of 10