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Three - The End Is Begun CD (album) cover

THE END IS BEGUN

Three

 

Crossover Prog

3.95 | 126 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I heard THREE's album for the first time a few days ago, just one day before I was going to actually see them playing live in Progressive Nation 2008. When I first listened to the album, my impressions were that of a flawed masterpiece. An album that could've been a 5 but gradually lost its power until it reached mediocrity in the last tracks.

My second listen of "The End is Begun" took place while I was driving to the theater. A 50-minute drive was perfect for a 50-minute record (I tend to ignore bonus tracks). That session left a much better impression on me. I could say that the album had climbed to a 4.5 in star rating. I still felt that there were weak elements that deterred it from being a full-blown masterpiece.

My third listen of this music was drastically better. It was live, with THREE playing their instruments 10 feet away from me. Their performance finally left on me the impression of 5-stars music. From the amazing skills of the frontman/guitar player to the power and presence of the drummer, the melody of "The End is Begun" to the catchiness of "All That Remains", I was convinced. But I had to keep my head cool. After all, I didn't hear the entire album played live, only half of it.

The fourth time was just a confirmation. As with any good music, it takes more than one listen to start to really appreciate how good it is. And now I have no questions: from beginning to end, this album is a masterpiece and should've been in the list of best albums of 2007.

This is not progressive-metal, nor is it what people here describe as Crossover Prog. This music defies categorization. But if we were to pick one that would suit the band the best, from the ones we have here in ProgArchives, it would be Heavy Prog.

And that's what it really is. An album that at times borders on progressive-metal (listen at the first couple of tracks and you'll hear an evident DREAM THEATER influence), at times crosses the border and sounds like true good pop/rock, at moments it sounds modern, very contemporary, at times it seems like a thing from a decade long gone by. The music is not static, can't be easily classified, but nevertheless, it's progressive. The songs have longer and in some cases unusual structures. The playing is very virtuosic and there are even moments where the cynics may attempt throwing a showing-off accusation towards the members of THREE. The album is full of music that aspires to be more. It's not radio-ready music, for sure (maybe with the exception of a few songs), and yet it's also not music only for the intellectual who can't take simpler things. In the end, the music is very accessible but so marvelously played and arranged that it reaches a superior level.

The music is also very original. As I said before, it's difficult to categorize. I may better try to name a few influences that I can recognize. As I said, DREAM THEATER would be one. Another influence would be RUSH, a little bit of TOOL, and that for the heavier side of things. I can also hear, mostly in the vocals, strong influences from artists like NEAL MORSE, and there are quite a few times when I see vocal harmonies that remind me of the great musicians immediately. PORCUPINE TREE is another band I'm reminded off, and through it, 70's masters PINK FLOYD. ENCHANT's music comes to my mind, too, especially the vocal style of that band's singer, Ted Leonard. Finally, and the element that put me off the first time I listened to this album, as the songs go by, the record gradually takes a distinct COHEED AND CAMBRIA sound, a little too emo-ish for my tastes the first time around. But when I heard it better, it's just the logical process of the story and the music to reach such a point.

The album starts with a magnificent introduction in acoustic guitar, followed by a very prog-metal-ish riff. From that point on, expect the unexpected. The album tends to get softer after it reaches its midpoint, but the quality, the melodies and catchy choruses never cease.

The musicianship, as said, is top-notch. Trying to ignore what I saw live (because it would color my opinion too favorably for the band), I can say that Joey Eppard is an amazing guitarist and an excellent vocalist, even though his voice may not be for everybody. Gartmann is a master drummer, as Stote is a percussionist, and Riker is a very skilled guitar player that adds a lot to the music. We shouldn't left aside the great work of Grimsland in bass, who can play a lot more than simple root-note bass lines.

An excellent record that would deserve a much longer track-by-track review to make it justice. I have to give it the maximum score as I've come to realize that it's a masterpiece of modern progressive music.

The T | 5/5 |

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