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Ring Van Möbius - The 3rd Majesty CD (album) cover


Ring Van Möbius


Symphonic Prog

3.78 | 81 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

2 stars The 3rd Majesty is just Emerson, Lake, and Palmer musical fanfiction. In a lot of ways, you have to respect the craft. The production is spot on, the drumming style is very familiar, and the organ and synth tones are one and the same. The riff writing is dead on, especially knowing that ELP was informed by the vast array of heavy psych/progressive blues rock bands that existed in the early prog scene. The vocal melodies are really meh, usually evoking something like tarkus. Speaking of, if you ever wanted to hear Tarkus again but with less pomp, try the title track.

Distant Sphere is the only song on this album that does anything remotely original or experimental. It has a lot of sections that are so angular that it feels like it verges on avant-prog. Maybe because ELP didn't use electric piano, they finally found an instrument they could have original sounding ideas on. To some extent, rather, because as the most "modern" sounding song, this goes no later than the late 70s. The opening is peak "classical music aesthetique", something I'm not a fan of.

I view this band on the same tier as Greta Van Fleet. I get that the retro prog niche is one that will fill this band's shows and streaming catalog with nostalgic old prog fans for however long we stick around with them. But I don't get it, the sacrifice of your own identity to push something out under the constraints of 1971 with half the imagination. There's long strands of blues riffs and vaguely jazzy chords being hammered out on the organ while the drums follow and change time signatures just enough to render this undanceable, but not enough to compete with the fact that a time signature is not a groove.

Ultimately, this album doesn't really do anything, and that was the nail in the coffin for me. What makes Emerson Lake and Palmer interesting is the songwriting and interplay between each of the members, as well as the distinct voice and delivery of Greg Lake. Ring Van Mobius copies the worst aspects of Emerson Lake and Palmer. Mind you, this isn't bad music. It's just trying to do something that's been long played out. If you're a symphonic prog completionist, or just a fan of well recorded hammond organ, this is for you.

mental_hygiene | 2/5 |


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