Bryan Lewis Saunders - Near Death Experience [Old Captain Records - 2018]Near Death Experience is a harrowing, often intense & at times deeply disturbing trip into the mind of American spoken word artist Bryan Lewis Saunders. This CD release appears on Ukraine's Old Captain records- taking seventeen tracks and a runtime of seventy four minutes. Itís fair to say it's one of the most troubling, at times downright unsettling & scary recordings Iíve heard in sometime.
Saunders seemingly started releasing recorded work around the mid 1990ís- at first as part of spoken word collections, going onto release stand alone cassette, CD, and vinyl releases. Near Death Experience originally appeared on the Erratum label in 2010, as a vinyl album ltd to 500 copies- this recent edition of the release adds in an extra six tracks.
All of the tracks featured here find Saunders voice front & centre, with a few tracks taking in minimal psycho ambience & subtle/ unsettling noise elements. His tone moves between pump-up & ranting, onto slower, disturbed & weary, through to all out manic & unhinged. But which ever setting he's in, he most certainly demands ones attention- as he managers to blend together curious unsettlement, emotional distress, and growing mental unwell-ness.
Subject wise he moves from weird encounters in a local store, onto shifts from nervous unhidgment to all out psycho derangement. Self torture- be it mental or physical. Through to rapid drug lingo related rants, onto if one had seven lives like a cat & the pained lifeís you could live. Through to creepy & depressed homeless man self belittlement, onto generally wondering & highly unsettling psycho chatter.
In conclusion if you want to get truly unsettled & disturbed by a spoken word album- Iíd say Near Death Experience perfectly fits that need. Though you canít really listening to it in one long sitting, as it really does start to overwhelm you with itís unrelenting unwell-ness & seriously disturbed tone.Roger Batty