— By Brendan
I was introduced to 3 with 2007’s The end is Begun. I was drawn to their experimental prog-rock sound, which relied on unique song structures and playing styles, and on heavy metal riffs. 3’s sound could be described as Coheed and Cambria’s metal-head older brother; they both share the prog-rock style and similarities (3’s singer/lead guitarist Joey Eppard taught Coheed-frontman Claudio Sanchez how to both sing and play guitar, and Joey is also the older brother to former Coheed drummer Josh Eppard). But while the bands are easily comparable, they still are very different. 3 tends to be more mature, a bit darker and atmospheric, and more experimental. It wouldn’t be hard for me to imagine 3 fans disliking Coheed, and Coheed fans disliking 3 — they have quite a few differences.
But beyond these comparisons, 3 is phenomenal band. The band is often described as “non-metal music that metal fans love” and it’s easy to see why — heavy metal riffs and intricate song structures owe more to bands like Opeth, Porcupine tree or even Black Sabbath than they necessarily do to Yes or King Crimson (though these influences are still relevant to 3’s sound). The songs on The Ghost You Gave to Me have that same dark, vast feeling, and yet are somehow uplifting in the same way as The End is Begun, and even their previous record Wake Pig. The songs are catchy, well written, and never over stay their welcome, though some are much better than others, and the entire album can feel a bit long. There are some small moments of experimentation like keyboards and the occasional new vocal range for Joey, but they never feel out of place or forced. Part of 3’s charm is making those waky ideas fit and feel natural; the music benefits from their experimentation. Overall, this is a record that any fan of rock, metal, or prog should check out. Highly recommended
Pros: Weaves in influences and new ideas flawlessly; the music’s mood and tone are dynamic and interesting, but never off putting; catchy and fun, but still packed with experimentation and boundary pushing; top notch musicianship; Joey’s a fantastic singer.
Cons: The album sometimes feels a bit long; some songs are not as memorable as they could be; the highly experimental nature of the music may put off some listeners.
For fans of: Porcupine Tree, Coheed and Cambria, Opeth, Yes, etc.
Check out 3 at: http://theband3.com/
The Ghost you gave to me was released on October 11, 2011, on Metal Blade Records.