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




Crossover Prog

4.11 | 344 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars 3RDEGREE have truly out-done themselves with their latest "Ones & Zeros: vol. 1". This is a concept album that looks into the future in a very detailed, dark and yet humerous way. I can't even begin to imagine the time and energy that went into not only the clever lyrics but outstanding instrumental work. I'm not even into concept albums yet here I am giving this recording 5 stars without any hesitation. These Americans have created a record that is sophisticated and complex yet very melodic and accessible. Not an easy thing to do. This is the third straight studio album I have received by this band and each one has out-done the other.

"Hello World!" is a 17 second futuristic ad for Valhalla Biotech the company that this album revolves around. It blends into "The Gravity" which is a top three track for me. It's catchy with harmonies that really add a lot to my enjoyment of it. The vocals are the focus until it settles down before 2 minutes and becomes spacey. Great sound! A pleasant synth/ guitar section arrives 3 minutes in as reserved vocals join in. A relaxed guitar solo follows then back to that earlier theme where vocals are the focus. How good is this 6 minutes in?! Oh my! My head is banging and I adore the passionate vocals. So good!

"This Is The Future" has a nice intro with some excellent guitar before the vocals kick in. Catchy stuff. This song reminds me of the previous album somewhat. Great sound here. The drummer is busy and we get those futuristic words that come and go throughout the album helping to keep us up with the story line, then back to the music. "Life" features strummed guitar and liquid sounding keys as the reserved vocals join in. It's beautiful when the backing vocals come in. Such a feel good tune. "The Best & Brightest" is also a top three track for me. These guys have so many great ideas including the way this starts in that spacey manner with vocals before it picks up with a repetitive vocal line then it kicks into gear. All i'm feeling right now is emotion, it's been a while.

"Circuit Court" has a STEELY DAN vibe until the chorus arrives. The organ is a nice touch here. This is smooth and sophisticated. I like the instrumental break before 3 1/2 minutes to almost 4 minutes. Such an enjoyable song. "Life At Any Cost" is another catchy and intelligent track with those killer vocals. This all changes before 3 1/2 minutes when it turns heavy and all instrumental. The guitar reminds me of GARDEN WALL here and I love the synths over top. The guitar then starts to soar and this continues for some time. The vocals are back 5 minutes in. Man I don't how this didn't make my top three.

"What It Means To Be Human" is powerful yet restrained until it picks up before 2 minutes but then we get another change with lots of vocal melodies. So cool as the drums support. Synths to the fore before 3 1/2 minutes after the vocals have stopped. It's brief though as the vocals and that powerful sound return. "We Regret To Inform You" is my other top three song. The intro reminds me of a good place for some reason. We get heavy and distorted guitar with prominent bass as lighter sounds come in over top. Man I love the sound here. Emotion. Those futuristic words come and go. This song blows me away, vocals come in after 3 minutes. "More Life" is another catchy, vocal led tune. Check out the backing vocals 1 1/2 minutes in followed by some great keyboard sounds, huge bass lines then a guitar solo. Nice. Those backing vocals are back. So freaking good!

Without question this will be a very serious contender for my album of the year.

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |


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