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The 3rd And The Mortal - Project Bluebook CD (album) cover


The 3rd And The Mortal

Experimental/Post Metal

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3 stars This album consists of two new studio songs and five live songs. "Drone" and "Chain" are musically very close to what can be heard on the "Memoirs" album. "Stalker" is a nice live improv. The last four songs are a mix of live versions from album songs and improvs. Overall, it's a good album, but not a must have.

Rating: 77/100

Report this review (#64084)
Posted Tuesday, January 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
Prog Folk Researcher
1 stars I don’t know what this is, but it isn’t metal. At least not any more so than say, the Gathering. I remember hearing 3rd & the Mortal’s first album several years ago, and although the vocals were almost all female (compared to this one where the female vocals are more an added effect rather than leading), the music was closer to what could be called progressive metal. Still very moody and ambient, but a bit more focused than this album.

This is mostly a live album, although except for a few audience noises it’s difficult to tell. The first couple tracks are studio works though, and very similar to each other. “Drone” starts off as a sort of brooding techno club-mix kind of thing with deep male spoken- word vocals accented by very beautiful female backing and not so beautiful monotonous drum tracks. Somewhere in the middle there’s some vocal mixing and synthesized dreariness. That’s about it. “Chain” is much the same. By the way, I’m sticking with my theory about Scandinavians needing to get out in the sun a bit more often. Off-topic but somewhat relevant: I’m working toward a Master’s degree at a local university, and we’ve been studying several world healthcare systems lately. Turns out Norway has some of the highest rates of teen suicide, abortion, and mental illness among the many countries we’ve studied. I really believe all these facts are related to that whole lack of sun thing, and to the systemic gloominess in a lot of music from that region. Anyway, back on-topic.

The remaining tracks are all live, technically-speaking. By this I mean they were recorded in a live setting. The music is dreary enough to sound more like a wake though. “Stalker” appears to be largely an exercise in synthesizer experimentation, more drum tracks, and sonic manipulation on guitar. This goes on long enough to qualify as a post-rock song (eleven minutes or so), except that there doesn’t seem to be any recognizable theme, so that theory is shot.

Musically “The City” is the most interesting work on the album, and also one of the shortest at just over five minutes. But lyrically the primary vocals are actually overdubbed lines of dialog from a film about the life and heroin-overdose death of American graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Pretty morbid.

“Sort of Invisible” has some barely-restrained guitar feedback to set it up, and the female vocals sound remarkably like Siouxsie & the Banshees, while the male ones are a depressing rendition of Bowie ala Aladdin Sane. Not bad, but not a progressive kind of work really. More like some kind of goth thing.

“Autophomea Improv” puts together the better parts of the rest of the album: semi- controlled guitar fuzz, almost melodic female vocals, a tempo that manages to move along steadily for the only time on the album, and what appears to be actual real drums. Nicely done, but unfortunately followed by “Simple Man”, another Banshees-like remix dirge that sounds all the world like it was recorded in the late eighties. That one negates any positive feelings about this album the previous track may have given me.

Oh well, another album that convinces me not to pick up anything else from the band. This would be recommendable for people who like to sit around in pancake makeup and lots of mascara, dressed in black and lamenting their very existence while picking at the scars on their wrists. But really, those people should be listening to something a lot more upbeat anyway, in the interest of their general health and all...

One star.


Report this review (#110622)
Posted Saturday, February 3, 2007 | Review Permalink

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