Justin Bruce is known for being a one-man band. Bruce has toggled between different genres and experimented with new sounds through his work in his groups Galvladi Oglaigh, Shame the Masses and his own solo career. His band Shame the Masses began in 2019 after looking to release more metal and post-rock material, and he remains the group's only permanent member. Under this band, Bruce has released three previous singles and returned just in time for Veteran's Day with a new eight-minute release.
After Justin Bruce sat down with The MIC, we learned some background on the new Shame The Masses track titled "Kill Zone." The song was a long time coming, developing over the course of one year while interviewing a wounded US Marine veteran and crafting his story into a hard rock song. Bruce worked with his friend Bryant Sutton, a common collaborator, and together the pair released two tracks with more on the horizon. Bruce describes Sutton as a "creative director" of sorts for Shame the Masses and appears to be quite the wordsmith. Sutton first crafted the lyrics, which they then put the music to, attempting to "reflect the kind of intensity and building tension that you encounter in a war zone. We wanted the listener to feel and experience the battle zone through the song." explains Bruce.
The track starts with a dark and muddy baritone guitar riff to mimic soldiers entering their position. Shortly after, Justin Bruce joins in on vocals, further setting up the scene with bone-chilling lyrics that describe the harsh realities of war, "The target approaches, they're in the kill zone/The grenade pin is pulled, then it all turns to black/There's burning pins searing his face and his flak/A hand is in ruins, an eye's filled with blood/But he never backs down even though he could." The music compliments the narrative with the beginning riff repeating throughout, mocking the neverending bleak despair and monotony of war. Between the five-six minute mark, the atmosphere begins to alter, now with more intensity. Once the final minute hits, Bruce describes the protagonist as an "uncontrolled force of fury killing everything in sight. [an] absolute sonic chaos all around you...like what I can imagine war sounds like if you turn it into a song."
LONG STORY SHORT: Shame the Masses set a vivid warzone scene while allowing you to enter the mind of a soldier. "Kill Zone" is a dramatic and fury-filled depiction of the world of war.
Stream "Kill Zone" below!
Vocals, Guitars - Justin Bruce
Drums - Zeljko Despic
Lyrics - Bryant Sutton
Mixing/ Mastering - Zeljko Despic
Produced by: Justin Bruce and Zeljko Despic
©℗ 2022 Justin Bruce and Bryant Sutton