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3RDegree - Ones & Zeros - Volume 1 CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.09 | 375 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars If a recent to time of writing poll on the PA forum is any indication, usually cheerfully sung songs from major prog bands that are thinly veiling dark/terrifying subject matter (e.g. Yes with "South Side of The Sky" - it's about polar explorers freezing to death) don't connect like the artists clearly think they should. Perhaps, I now think, the fault lies with those artists, because there is no finer or more fully connecting piece of intentionally dissonant mainline prog then this surprise masterpiece.

I'll admit, being used to the more overtly dark musics of Throbbing Gristle, Nurse With Wound, and Swans, this concept album didn't chill my spine, but, and this is a further testament to 3RDegree's greatness, it instead engendered in me several smirks and laughs. This record is so clearly off and dystopian in theme, and the way the band went about it is so uniquely fine-tuned, that it's as likely to make a listener take humour in the dark subject matter as it is to make another listener freeze in their tracks in horror as they get up to get a frosty beverage from the fridge. The whole spiel about ageing being an obsolete disease is perfect on two counts, and the moment when I realised that this was a special album, reminding me of the "Barco AM PM" slice from "Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven" in the best way.

Oh, and the music! Beautiful and excellent modern cross. I think that this record achieves a great modernisation of the classic symph sonic pallet, achieving such in part by way of mixing in some juicy influences otherwise not inherent to that specific idiom, and bringing a poppy edge to parts of it in a good way. Perhaps 3RDegree is something like the second coming of Supertramp. The playing is stellar and the production is a great throwback to the analog age. Altogether, this is probably the best piece of mainline prog in a long time, one of the most successful concept albums for a longer time, and an album of the year candidate.

LearsFool | 5/5 |


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