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JT BRUCE

Progressive Metal • United States


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JT Bruce biography
JT BRUCE is an artist from San Diego, California.

Little is known about him. His website (subjectruin.net) features not only his two albums but also graphic art, short experimental films, and short essays written both by him and collaborators.

JT BRUCE has released two albums: "Anomalous Material" in 2005 and "the Dreamer's Paradox" in 2006. The music in both is entirely instrumental.

Besides that, his website presents a new musical experiment by the artist called "Psychoacoustic Circus", which, according to his own words, "is a new side project that will consist of episodic experiments in instrumental composition and audio design."

The music in his two albums is progressive instrumental metal. Grandiose at times, very modern at others, the sounds go from the atmospheric and cinematic to the fast and furious in no time. We can hear influences of many artists, both from the classical music world, hollywood cinema music, classic rock and progressive rock and metal giants like DREAM THEATER, LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT, RUSH, among many others



Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
Approved by the prog-metal team.



Discography:
Anomalous Material, studio album (2005)
The Dreamer's Paradox, studio album (2006)

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JT Bruce official website

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JT BRUCE discography


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JT BRUCE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.93 | 5 ratings
Anomalous Material
2005
3.97 | 9 ratings
The Dreamer's Paradox
2006
3.94 | 9 ratings
Universica
2008

JT BRUCE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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2.00 | 1 ratings
Ruined Subjects
2011

JT BRUCE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Universica by BRUCE, JT album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.94 | 9 ratings

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Universica
JT Bruce Progressive Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Universica' - JT Bruce (7/10)

In the realm of instrumental rock, things are often a very hit-or-miss ordeal. Music without the 'constraints' of a vocal accompaniment are freed from many conventions, and they can either be really set loose to give an unforgettable listening experience, or a meandering mess that could have done much better with the structure and comfort of a human voice. In the case of American guitarist and composer JT Bruce, his progressive and upbeat style of instrumental guitar music is quite an impressive demonstration of keen composition and skill with his instrument. In a very spacey journey through several star systems, the concept album 'Universica' shows Bruce at his strongest yet. An eclectic mix of progressive metal and electronica, the album follows Bruce through track after track of his melodic lead work, to a generally positive effect. However, despite it's strength in the writing and intelligence of the work, the emotional impact of his music seems to lack the human touch necessary to feel something profound throughout, making one ponder whether or not the work of this man is really best left as an instrumental venture.

The opener 'Bellatrix' is a song of epic length, revolving more or less around two or three main themes through it's eighteen minutes. Over the course of the song, Bruce jumps off with these ideas and throws in little variations to the sound to keep the music on it's toes. While each of the bigger ideas in 'Bellatrix' is very strong and makes good use of Bruce's melodic lead sensibilities, the length does seem a bit overdone, and while the track doesn't necessarily feel repetitive to listen to, things would be quite a bit more effective, had the track been cut down in half.

Many of the other sounds don't have such memorable and developed ideas, but each is an enjoyable serving of instrumental rock. 'Spica' is the next big highlight here, starting off with a great deal of energy and a faster tempo than usual to have it stand out. Possibly the most musically interesting track here is 'Formalhaut' however, which goes as far as to dispose of the typical JT Bruce sound, exchanging guitar for an electronic barrage, verging on the realm of the avant-garde in it's quirkiness.

While 'Universica' is a very interesting and generally consistent spacey piece of music that upholds the sound of it's concept, theres a feeling that the execution here isn't as strong as it could have been. Yes, the production values here are quite high, but very little here has the spontaneous magic that makes an instrumental guitar album truly amazing. Much of the sound here sounds artificial, especially the rock rhythm sections; the organic component simply lacks. For it's keen composition however, 'Universica' is a recommended listen.

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 The Dreamer's Paradox by BRUCE, JT album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.97 | 9 ratings

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The Dreamer's Paradox
JT Bruce Progressive Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'The Dreamer's Paradox' - JT Bruce (7/10)

Talented multi-instrumentalist JT Bruce has returned for a second album with 'The Dreamer's Paradox;' an impressive foray into the realm of instrumental progressive metal. Developing upon the technical and rhythmic style generally associated with giants such as Dream Theater, Bruce takes his prowess at the electric guitar, and composes a generally successful song suite. While the album's style may lack the emotional impact of a masterpiece, 'The Dreamer's Paradox' is an intelligently composed and performed piece of work.

Although the music itself is instrumental, one can ascertain by the track titles, and an extended speech at the end of the album what the music is all about; dreaming and the perception of reality. Having a fair ground from which to sprout some intriguing music, the listener is greeted with an hour's worth of (slightly) melodic technical rock/metal. Although each track appears to function well on it's own, there are reucrring musical ideas throughout the piece that give flow to the album, and the sense that it is a single suite, much like 'Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence.'

Perhaps I like a bit more variety in my music, but 'The Dreamer's Paradox' feels generally samey, in terms of the way it is both played and composed. Disregarding the recurring motifs (which is to the album's benefit), alot of the album follows the same energetic, upbeat feel. The clearest exception to this rule is the final track, 'Hypnic Jerk.' Undeniably a piece of avant-garde rambling, the piece bears little to no resemblence to the rest of the music here, and packs as much weirdness into a single song as one might expect from a full blown avant artist. Each ten second segment brings in a new musical idea; at times unsettling, but always interesting. While this is very intriguing to listen to, it breaks alot of the flow to the album; making it feel almost as if the album truly ends the track before.

In any case, 'The Dreamer's Paradox' succeeds on a compositional level, even if the execution -not necessarily the guitars, which are well-played, but the other instruments/samples used- feels a bit bland. JT Bruce has come a fair way from his beginnings in 'Anomalous Material,' and anyone with a penchant for typical progressive metal should look into the work of JT Bruce and 'The Dreamer's Paradox.'

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 Universica by BRUCE, JT album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.94 | 9 ratings

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Universica
JT Bruce Progressive Metal

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars US composer and multi-instrumentalist JT Bruce has created a delightfully versatile production with his third effort Universica.

Blending a myriad of stylistic expressions, much of this venture comes across as some sort of unholy union between mid 70's Tangerine Dream and mid 90's Nine Inch Nails. A large number of themes and passages are seeped in mostly dark sounding, space-tinged electronic excursions, with industrial elements more or less in a war with ambient and subtle dissonant electronic ones for dominance.

Additional spices brought to the proceedings are gentle wandering acoustic guitar and piano layers, drawn out psychedelic sounds and the occasional fragmented or more fully explored theme with a basis in progressive metal.

The songs twist and turn, evolve, develop and change throughout, seemingly with more of an emphasis on improvisational playing rather than a meticulously planned thematic exploration. Interesting, intriguing, unexpected and creative, this disc should be a real find for most anyone into instrumental progressive rock with strong eclectic tendencies.

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 The Dreamer's Paradox by BRUCE, JT album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.97 | 9 ratings

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The Dreamer's Paradox
JT Bruce Progressive Metal

Review by ZeroDreamPlasMaximus

4 stars About a year after putting out Anamolous Material, JT BRUCE returns with his second album, The Dreamer's Paradox. This album is a much more mature effort, is a step forward from Anomalous Material. Whereas the debut was essentially a collection of stand-alone songs, The Dreamer's Paradox contains a concept that unifies the songs together with recurring musical themes and fairly abstract song titles. The songs here are much longer also, and are a bit heavier, but there is a large amount of quiet and soft spots, and production has improved a bit.

''The Dreamer's Overture'' sets the stage for the album, introducing many of the themes that are to be revisited throughout the duration of the album. This song is a good rocker, with great guitarwork from BRUCE, and the keys creating a dense backdrop. ''Plunge Into Hyperreality'' is my favorite track off of the album, with the wonderful Eastern-influenced acoustic guitar intro amid ominous keyboards, and continues as a fast-paced rocker. On the contrary, ''The Verge of Illusory Twilight'' is mainly a ballad, rarely transcending into heavier realms for the 8 ¾ it runs for. Also, the ''epic'' of the album is quite an interesting ''composition''. ''Hypnic Jerk'' is essentially a piece of musique concrčte in the vein of ''Revolution 9'' by the Beatles, and ''9:28 AM'' by Queensr’che. The song contains many sound samples, mainly heavily altered clips from the album. After the song is more than halfway through, a spoken word segment begins that explains the concept of dreams. A weird, but somehow, a very enjoyable track.

In the end, The Dreamer's Paradox is a very good album; much better than the well-done Anomalous Material. Although, a few complaints of mine are that there are a few too many soft spots in the album, and that the musical themes being revisited in the album might be revisited a bit too much. But, despite that, The Dreamer's Paradox is a solid effort from JT BRUCE, and should not be missed.

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 Anomalous Material  by BRUCE, JT album cover Studio Album, 2005
2.93 | 5 ratings

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Anomalous Material
JT Bruce Progressive Metal

Review by ZeroDreamPlasMaximus

3 stars Here we have quite another unexpected discovery in the progressive world. I myself stumbled upon JT BRUCE, an unknown (quite literally, in that there are little details about him) multi- instrumentalist, artist, and independent film-maker, while browsing through the MP3s in the Progressive Metal sub-genre page here. Eventually, I decided to visit his website and found links to download his albums, which he has released under a Creative Commons License. So now, I shall review BRUCE's debut album, Anomalous Material.

The music on Anomalous Material is mostly instrumental progressive rock/metal, with some different genres thrown into the mix, with some poppy moments, and even a space rockish song, along with a big hard rock influence. Most of the songs are very short, ranging from 1 to 3 minutes in length; except for the epic, ''The Artist, The Sage, and The Jester'' which clocks in at an evenly-cut length of 15 minutes. Despite the fact that BRUCE plays everything on the album, it sounds like there is a full band playing, and the mix is also very spacious. BRUCE does a good job of creating an atmosphere not only with keyboards, but also with the guitar. And there is a perfect balance between the rockers and the ballads. And there isn't too much to chew on either, with each song being a short length. Although, with many of the songs being as short as they are, a few of them never seem to get started before they end. Also, placement of ''The Artist, The Sage, and The Jester'' in the second track slot can be a bit daunting to some because of its sheer length compared to the other songs; it could seem like a large lump to climb over at the beginning of an album of very abbreviated songs.

All in all, Anomalous Material by JT BRUCE, is a very promising debut. Very straightforward instru-prog-metal, although there are some subpar vocals in ''The Pioneer Anomaly''. If you want to listen to his work it can be downloaded for free from his website. Although, you can also do what I will do when I have enough money, and send a nice donation his way. He will surely appreciate it.

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Thanks to The T for the artist addition.

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