Bruce Lamont: Feral Songs for the Epic Decline

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Bruce Lamont: Feral Songs for the Epic Decline
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Bruce Lamont: Feral Songs for the Epic Decline
Ambient, Folk, Tribal, Space Rock
At a Loss Records
January 25th, 2011
Release length: 42:45
Bruce Lamont is known more for his time in the band Yakuza. Of course, this saxophone wiz is now taking the time to release a full-length solo offering, entitled Feral Songs for the Epic Decline through At A Loss Records. The recording captures plenty of well done ambient music that fans of the style will enjoy, and actually does so by incorporating instruments as well as the electronic input, unlike many who solely rely ont he latter then the first in many of today’s releases. But, does this man’s solo Ambient interpretations really make for a strong, solid release?

Right off the bat, if you’re not into exploratory Ambience along the lines of Folk or Tribal, or just flat out dislike acts such as Sunn O))) or even later Neurosis, then chances are good this album isn’t necessarily for you. But, those into this sort of Ambient expresionism may find plenty to rave about. Feral Songs for the Epic Decline is exactly as the title puts it: Feral. The music presented here is often very dark, tending more towards a heavy Tribal output moreso, but does take to some Space Rock elements to set up an atmosphere that helps the listener drift away into the music, but that portion typically shows up later in the mix. The CD is seven tracks long, but the first track, “One Who Stands on the Earth”, is the longest track of the release, being nearly twelve minutes, and weaves a very dark Tribal sounding track that is addicting for quite some time. Sadly, as it progresses to the end, it does start to become a little repetitive, and by the time it ends, chances are good you’ll want to go again, but with it’s somewhat drawn out nature, it becomes a rough decision to make to do that, or walk away.

The following tracks, however, seem to become more personal and emotionally driven at times. “The Epic Decline” comes off more as a track that takes you into an Ambient filled exploration of the deepest recesses of Bruce Lamont‘s mind itself. The repetitive background atmosphere proves a dark and grim feeling against a slow, dismal saxophone performance that adds to the growing tension of a Hellish environment, and the vocal performance creates an atmosphere that feels tense, and becomes maddening as it becomes strong, and with a well placed scream, it all becomes apparently before the loss of sanity in the track is reflected by a slight Space Rock-influence Ambient closing that feels just right, as if a release of the built up frustration and nervousness that the madness had brought with it earlier in the track. A similar type of atmosphere is found on the track “The Book of the Law”, though it’s more an intense one that feels more like being stranded in an Egyptian desert, suffering with a lack of water with the beating sun hammering away at you.

Of course, these are meerly my interpretations of two of the best songs of the album. But that’s just it. This whole album will be based solely on the listener’s interpretation of the material. Of course some of the atmospheres set up with by the Ambience, such as on “The Epic Decline” will be vaguely similar between each person’s taking of the music and the atmosphere it’s trying to portray, but it’s more of an artist expression then any, and it becomes rough to sit down and say that one song is better then the other knowing whole heartedly that the next song you hate may be the song someone else loves or has a real connection with. “Disgruntled Employer”, for instancew, sounds rather weak in comparison, but the saxophone really drives the song to give it a rather noir feeling, standing along in the darkness of a peer, staring at the black that is the water. But other’s may just take it as a form of tribal mourning and nothing more.

Out of all the songs on here, there’s none that really drop the ball outside the somewhat drawn out openning track “One Who Stands on the Earth”. Had this track been cut down a little more, it may hold the listener’s attention longer, despite whether it’s a form of expression of the composer’s state of mind or not like many of these tracks seem to come off as. The song actually paints a rather poor portrait of the moving and emotional material that is to immediately follow in all honesty, though does manage to capture a nice Tribal setting, causing the song to not feel like a total loss after the first six or seven minutes. However, if you’re looking for something with some real emotion, and leaves you thinking as soon as the music starts or even just as it ends, then Feral Songs for the Epic Decline is a monumental album of self expressionism through music that one simply has to hear to truly comprehend.

01. One Who Stands on the Earth – 11:44
02. The Epic Decline – 6:52
03. Year Without Summer – 4:07
04. The Book of the Law – 5:45
05. Disgruntled Employer – 5:59
06. Deconstructing Self-Destruction – 4:17
07. 2 Then The 3 – 4:00
Overall Score: 9/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by At a Loss Records via Earsplit PR.