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3RDegree - The Long Division CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.01 | 235 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars I have listened to this quite a few times prior to setting out my review, incredibly my first of 2013. There is a reason for this.

It is not unusual for a reviewer to listen to an album a couple of times and think, I don't really like this. Indeed, that is the case with many of the albums which I now regard as being classics. Sometimes, it takes time to really appreciate a work of art. However, after the sixth or seventh listens, I was still rather ambivalent. What kept pulling me back to give this album a fair "chance", and, by extension, a fair review were the two tracks I thoroughly adored.

The short instrumental, The Millions of Last Moments, featuring guitar work to die for, and the exceptional closer, which is consistently excellent and flows constantly, A Nihilist's Love Song, both prove, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that these guys can play, write strong material, and move you.

However, after umpteen listens commuting to work, I really have to reach the conclusion that those tracks are, by and large, the exception on this album, rather than the rule. Does that mean this is a bad album? Not really. It is just that much of it is, to these ears, too inconsistent, and too........bitty (not a good word, I know) to convince. Half the trouble is, I feel, that they do not really know what they are trying to achieve in their sound. For when they are good, they are very good. The more expansive passages flow beautifully, and it all comes together. These, though, are in between main passages which grate somewhat.

As for the lyrics, as has been raised by other reviewers, they are overtly political, and none too complimentary about the system where the band hail from. They could be summarised as being a "plague on both your houses", I.e. Republican and Democrat. The bulk of the album is, in truth, a fair old rant against both. Nothing wrong with that, of course, and much of it reflects a fair bit of my disenchantment with modern politics, and I say this as one who spent years as a political activist (although not in recent times). It also follows in the wake of a proud tradition of rock music raging against "the machine". Having said that, the likes of Pink Floyd produced superlative and memorable music to accompany the rants. Whatever else this band are, they are not Pink Floyd.

So, to summarise, this is a good album, but not one I could wholeheartedly recommend. There are some very good passages. I, for one, have been left with wanting more.

Three stars for this.

lazland | 3/5 |


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