Bruce Lamont- Feral Songs for the Epic Decline

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Saturday, December 25, 2010

Bruce Lamont is best known as the singer/multi-instrumentalists in Chicago’s Yakuza, a progressive/avant-garde metal band that has turned quite a few heads over the last few years. Lamont has also been involved in projects such as Circle of Animals with Sanford Parker and Led Zeppelin 2 as well as solo material. In 2007 he recorded four tracks and dubbed it Feral, and earlier this year he finished three new songs dubbed The Epic Decline. At A Loss Recordings has put the seven together and titled it Feral Songs for the Epic Decline. It’s an experimental record that moves between free jazz, drone and even some industrial/noise but if you’ve got an interest in the avant-garde it’s a worthy endeavor.

Lamont starts off his solo effort with a lengthy track filled with droning tribal rhythms and light vocals that make it sound as though he is in a trance like state. It all starts off fairly subtly, with guitar and vocals toiling away until about halfway in when the saxophone appears and adds a free jazz vibe to the rest of the track. From here the album continues to offer plenty of twists and turns, showcasing that Bruce Lamont has ideas that are even stranger and avant-garde than the band he fronts. The one-two punch of “Deconstructing Self Destruction” and “2 Then the 3” which moves from an industrial/noise assault complete with Lamont screaming at the top of his lungs before falling back into a soft wave of guitar and other instrumentals. The transition between the styles is incredible as Lamont is able to adapt both the vocals and instrumentals on the fly without any jarring transitions or interludes. Admittedly some of the tribal tinged tracks do seem to drag on a bit too long, but when three quarters of the album really grabs you and holds your full attention you know that you’re listening to something special.

Feral Songs for the Epic Decline is a diverse effort that fans of Lamont’s other work will thoroughly enjoy. Although this material is very experimental, it feels as though it is only scratching the surface of what he is capable of and I’m willing to bet that we will see a lot more in the future. However, as a debut effort this disc is very impressive and is one of the first good avant-garde releases of 2011.

Full Disclosure: Review copy provided by Earsplit PR

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