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3 - The End Is Begun CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.98 | 132 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I remember when I first discovered 3. They opened for Coheed and Cambria in late 2004. They really surprised me! From singer/guitarist Joey Eppard's interesting flamenco style guitar among the rock instrumentation and his insane solo piece "Bramfatura" to the additional percussionist/keyboardist, I knew this band was going to be something, eventually. They put on such a good show; I'm surprised they didn't draw much attention after the tour. Must have been that they were playing to the wrong crowd. Unfortunately, Coheed and Cambria attracts a lot of mainstream-type fans who definitely wouldn't appreciate what this band was trying to do. Fortunately, they at least attracted enough attention to get a deal with Metal Blade records. With the release of The End Is Begun, they even piqued the curiosity of Mike Portnoy, who ended up booking them on the 2008 Prog Nation tour, which would provide the band with a much more receptive audience. Having seen them again on that tour, I am again assured that this band will be one of the top names in modern prog rock.

The End Is Begun is easily the band's best output thus far. Certainly they've been alotted more time and money than before, which helps, but it's clear that they are growing musically at a rapid rate. This album is dynamic, melodic and unique. The band draws on a few other bands' sounds, most notably Coheed and Cambria (the frontman is actually the brother of Coheed's former drummer), but they never sound overtly derivative. The band plays well together, often including syncopated passages and/or contrast between heavy rock and flamenco guitar. The band is maturing and coming into their own while maintaining an appeal to both prog crowds and alternative rock/metal ones as well. You can even hear a pop sound penetrating in areas, but it's done with aplomb. Rather than being a detriment to the rest of the music as happens to often, it simply broadens the band's palette and provides us with some great hooks. The structures never get too complex, but the band also doesn't settle for the same formula each track. We have a middle ground here. It's got complexity, but it never leaves the listeners behind. The vocals are unique as well. The voice is instantly recognizable, and the vocalist tastefully uses falsetto throughout the disc along with his normal range.

Highlights here include the cool intro "The World Is Born of Flame," the exhillerating "My Divided Falling," and the closer "The Last Day." Nevertheless, each track has it's own qualities and adds to the album in some way other than length.

The one problem with this disc is the production. It's clean and polished, but it doesn't provide the band with the same power and thickness of their live sound. The bass and drums aren't as punchy and the lead/electric guitars aren't reamped or anything. They sound like they're meant to be thick, but they aren't. It sounds a bit weak in spots as a result. Take a look at the title track. That riff should be crushing, but it sounds very tame. I wonder if the band wanted it that way. I sure hope not. The songs are still enjoyable, but I know they could be more impactful with a thicker production.

Overall, a very good release, and I hope to see this band continue to grow in popularity as they grow musically. Despite the quality of this material, I know there's more potential left to unlock! Make sure you see this band live; I guarentee that you'll be impressed and maybe even come out of it with a new perspective of the band.

Moatilliatta | 4/5 |


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