Thursday, August 12, 2010

3 Headed Monster - 3 Headed Monster

Fun the first time

Varan! The Unbelievable! And with that old school movie trailer, we set out on an instrumental progressive/power outing through the lands of Godzilla flicks and WWF. The band that I can liken them to the most is Powerglove, a Massachusetts outfit that plays progressive/power/speed metal covers of video game music. I say this because from a purely musical standpoint, they share a very similar guitar tone and drum sound. While I may actually prefer Powerglove when it comes to sheer stupid, head banging fun, 3 Headed Monster gets the upper hand from a critic's viewpoint because they write 100% original songs.

But is this album perfect? Not quite. It is indeed a fucking blast, and that is what metal is really all about... the attitude. Sure, I love thought provoking heavy metal (I'm a huge Nevermore and Symphony X fan), but sometimes you just want to kick back and reminisce about zombie movies of yore. This album is entirely instrumental, so you won't get any overt references to cunt ripping, baby eating, or party hopping, but the aura that this bands emanates is completely immense, and will surely suck you in.

What takes the album down? Lack of variety and inability to maintain the listener's interest. The variety comment is arguable, and the interest comment is purely subjective, so this may come off as perfect for some, and the absolute nadir of songwriting for others. For me, I'm happily in between. Perfect Plex takes a bit too long to really get going, so it kind of reminds me of Five Magics from Rust in Peace, except the Megadeth song explodes into a speed/thrash metal fury once it picks up, 3 Headed Monster's song on the other hand does not. It picks up alright, but it never releases all of the potential it has. The Beast of Odo Island also seems to be technical for the sake of it. I mean there are acoustic interludes for no reason other than to show people that they can play acoustic as well. It fits I guess, but that particular song shows me that they are not expert songwriters. They are undeniably expert players, every single track shows that they are all exceptional at their respective instruments. Ultimate Rage, Engines of AKI, and Ides of March go on too long for their own good, and seem to, again, merely be attempts at proving they can write long, "epic" songs. I have to give Ultimate Rage props though, for it actually restrains itself from melting into pure fretboard masturbation (although it gets close)... it actually keeps a steady sense of melody without ever becoming boring or obnoxious.

Highlights for me are the opener Varan and Bloodbath II, because those are the only two that really get to the point, shred your face off, and then leave before you get sick of them. See, one can only listen to fretboard acrobatics so long before you understand that the player is really good, but they can't write songs specifically well. I don't know what it is about this album... but it is really bittersweet, a double edged sword so to speak. It is great the first spin, but wears off after only a couple more.

So in conclusion, it's a decent album to borrow or download once, but I wouldn't spend my money on it if I wasn't absolutely sure I loved the style first. Definitely a "try before you buy", check their Myspace, download a track or two, something along those lines before you shell out money for it.

RATING - 68%

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