Junior Bruce – Endless Descent

8 Overall Score
Vocals: 8/10
Music: 9/10
Concept : 10/10

Great Execution of Concept.

Vocals a little muddled.

Junior Bruce
Endless Descent
Released October 31, 2016
A389 Recordings

Metal is very versatile music. I’d argue it has more sub-genres than almost any other styles. Some bands even find a way to bridge those styles. Junior Bruce is one such band. On the surface, it would be easy to call them “doom metal”. But just when you’re about to do that, you suddenly hear an element of “prog rock” (like on opening song Lapis Philosphorum) or you get a short blast of hardcore speed (the aptly named second track Lion’s Teeth). But to this listener what stuck with me the most were the heavy psychedelic leanings that ran throughout the whole album. Lead Guitarist Nate Jones, along with guitarist Bryan Raymond, do a good amount of noodling and note stretching, bringing in the psych-rock influences. There’s also some nice and clean solos thrown in. Not to say that this shit isn’t heavy, as vocalist Scott Angelacos has one hell of a growl and bassist Thomas Crowther and drummer Jeff McAlear keep your  head banging with a heavy rhythm section. If I have any complaints, it’s that I do wish the vocals sounded cleaner and louder. They get a bit drowned out by the music. And since this is a concept album, the vocals/lyrics should be just as much of a focus.

And a concept album it is. The album notes describe it as

 One persons struggle to rescue their one love from the depths of the abyss. In their attempts to open a gateway to the underworld they unwittingly set free upon the earth legions of demons and beasts that ultimately consumes not only their soul, but all of humanity.

That’s a pretty epic idea. And it’s cool to see a metal band embrace those storytelling roots so deeply tied to rock music. I’d also like to point out the cover art, which is beautiful and detailed. With its detailed figures and gaping, jaw-like portal to hell, the art invokes everything from Hieronymus Bosch and his famed The Garden of Earthly Delights  to classic concert and album art of the 70s.

 My favorite song has to be Night Hag, which at 6:01, is the longest track on the album. The song is probably the best one to summarize the whole album, and if you want a good indication of what to expect, check out this song first.
You can check out the band’s album below, and purchase from them directly on their Bandcamp. Also, check out the other great releases by their label,  A389 Recordings.

 

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Author: Manny Gomez View all posts by

Manny Gomez is a freelance writer based out of Florida’s west coast. He obsessively reads interviews, binge watches TV shows, loves comics, movies, punk rock, hip-hop, stand-up comedy, detective novels and the mythology of baseball. His best friend is a dog. Follow him on Twitter @Manny1138

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