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3 Headed Monster - 3HM (7/10) - USA - 2007

Genre: Instrumental Metal
Label: Melissa Records
Playing time: 39:58
Band homepage: 3 Headed Monster

Tracklist:

  1. Varan
  2. Perfect Plex
  3. The Beast Of Odo Island
  4. Ultimate Rage
  5. Bloodbath II
  6. Ides Of March
  7. Bitter End
  8. Engines Of AKI
3 Headed Monster - 3HM

Tumultuous...terrifying...so awesome it will shock you to the core!

Instrumental Metal acts are faced with many challenges. For one, the lack of a vocalist will turn many casual listeners off. Many listeners feel the need to have their music backed by a human voice, or something that they can feel a connection to. Instrumental bands also place excessive amounts of importance on technical skill. After all, there is no singerĖthe instrumental work is forced to carry the song, so why not show off your technical skill? This is all fine and dandy from a musicianís perspective, but this also isolates the casual listener, thus loosening the bandís chances at widespread appeal. Rarely will an Instrumental act strike a perfect balance between a sound accessible enough to appeal to the general listener and still maintain their credibility as musicians without a vocalist. 3 HEADED MONSTERís debut album, "3HM" isnít perfect, but it doesnít forget those among us who arenít listening to music for the purpose of gawking at a musicianís superhuman abilities.

Despite not being a 100% shred-fest, "3HM" still features its fair amount of shredding. The track "Ultimate Rage" is loaded to the brink with incessant soloing which is overlapped by a simpler guitar lead. The two play off each other successfully, and the end result is something that would appeal to both of the aforementioned markets. Occasionally, this formula can become tiresome, but I have to admit (as someone who is generally against instrumental bands) "3HM" kept my attention for its entire runtime.

The void left by not having a vocalist has to be filled creatively. An instrumental track canít be repetitive, and variation is the most important element. Fortunately, 3 HEADED MONSTER does this quite well. Whether a guitarist is shredding his way up and down the fretboard, or the drummer is pounding his kit into the ground while an outrageously infectious guitar lead is being played, this band knows variety.

Considering this bandís apparent obsession with monster movies and other nerdy pastimes, one would expect nothing short of a larger than life experience, and "3HM" certainly delivers this. If the movie samples arenít enough to draw your attention, than the unremitting speeds at which the music is pumped out surely will. This is the kind of music that compels the listener into a frenzy of air guitar and headbangingĖthe kind of music you crank as loud as you possibly can despite near perfect production values. "Energetic" would be far too broad a term to fully encompass what is going on here. This is essentially the kind of music you have to witness first hand. Itís just plain fun.

As for what specific genre these guy fit intoĖwell, that is irrelevant. Influences from all over the Metal spectrum can be heard here, but again that is irrelevant as this thing is its own music, and shouldnít have to be weighed down by any label. Whether or not instrumental music generally interests you shouldnít matter when it comes to this album. The guitar enthusiast in you will be creaming his jeans with delight, and the casual listener who wants nothing more than a song to hum along with will be pleasantly surprised as well.

(Online December 28, 2007)

Kevin Roy



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