Quite possibly the hardest review I’ve ever tried to write. After hours of thought, that’s the only way I could come up with to open this review. You see, THREE embody the word progressive, and do so brilliantly. They sound like absolutely no one else on “The End Is Begun”, but inhabit the same realm as modern Progressive Rock masterminds, COHEED AND CAMBRIA. Parallels and similarities abound between the two. Neither band is Metal, but both know how to crank it out when a song calls for it. Both know how to write a huge hook, whether it be musically or vocally. Both have highly unique vocalists that demand attention and know how to control a song. The two bands have shared a stage, and both have this absolutely magical quality that is damn near impossible to pin down. Where they differ is overall execution.
While at first glance COHEED AND CAMBRIA simply seem like a quirky Pop band, only later revealing their intricate and almost sinister intent, THREE come right out of the gate on “The End Is Begun” proudly proclaiming “we’re different”. It’s apparent from the get go that THREE are a unique band, who else can combine acoustic and electric guitars, throbbing bass, near-tribal drumming, with a Metal-esque solo on top, all wrapped in a neat and catchy package? And that’s just the title track, which follows an already outstanding intro. The band keeps these unique interplays up throughout the album, whether they have chosen to pursue radio-friendly rock (“Live Entertainment”), balladry (“Been To The Future”, “Shadow Play”), or hard-tinged territory (“My Divided Falling”, “These Iron Bones”), it always remains interesting and engaging. And I’ve yet to mention the clarity of the production, which makes “The End Is Begun” a 100-percent complete package.
With untouchable musicianship and songwriting to match, THREE’s “The End Is Begun” would turn the Progressive Rock world upside down if said world were fair. But seeing as how COHEED AND CAMBRIA’s “Good Apollo…” has yet to be widely recognized by the world as the brilliant album it is, I don’t see “The End Is Begun” getting its due respect either. Hopefully, at the least, this album will get some to take notice, and in the long run help THREE to gain the respect they so rightfully deserve. Words don’t due the album justice. “The End Is Begun” is art above all else, and should be regarded as such.
(So why a 9 instead of a 10? Because COHEED AND CAMBRIA’s “Good Apollo…” is slightly better than “The End Is Begun”, and that album has set the bar for this genre, that's why.)
(Online October 18, 2007)