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3rd & The Mortal, The - Memoirs (8,5/10) - Norway - 2002

Genre: Alternative Rock
Label: Voices Music
Playing time: 50:34
Band homepage: 3rd & The Mortal, The

Tracklist:

  1. Zeppoliner
  2. Good Evening Mr. Q
  3. The City
  4. Reflections
  5. Thin Dark Line
  6. Fools Like Us
  7. Those Of My Kind
  8. Simple Mind
  9. Spider
3rd & The Mortal, The - Memoirs
Just what I was looking for! Straight out of left-field comes "Memoirs", an album that has little place being reviewed in a Metal-magazine, but of course, here at the Observer, anything goes as long as it's in good taste, especially fat jokes, we're polite about things like that, we're decent people! Well, most of us are anyway...some are just 30-year-old virgins, and smell bad. Apparently, by one account, Wes's odor could be smelled in Oklahoma all the way from Canada!!!

Here we have the latest album from a band I have never heard, though had heard about many times before, Norway's THE 3rd & THE MORTAL. Firstly, let this fact be known, if there ever WAS any Metal in this band's sound, which I'm not sure of as this is my first contact with their music, then it is gone on "Memoirs", nowhere to be found, taken a permanent siesta, and instead utilizing styles of music which would make most Metalheads projectile vomit: Electronica, Swing Jazz, heavy use of turntables and samples, and a rather Pop/Rock-sensibility behind it all. Therefore, I suggest you migrate to another review if you don't like what you've read so far. Any open minded folk with a possible liking for anything falling well outside the Metal-spheres, please continue...you might find yourself adding this to your "want list" after Lord Gabe is done with you...

First impressions of "Memoirs": the production is as deep as the ocean! I'm talking an album which requires many mandatory headphone-sessions to even begin to absorb! The song-structures, melodies, instrumentation, and general "feel" of "Memoirs" are something that these ears have literally not heard before. Opener "Zeppoliner" hit me completely off-guard. I was expecting some sort of Metal-tinged Gothic Rock with "angelic" female vocals? No sir! This probably falls closer to bands like PORTISHEAD or......damn! That's the only comparison I can seem to draw, and I've only heard one PORTISHEAD-song before in my life! I'm like an infant with this type of music! Still, I shall persevere...

I can give you my brawn-over-brain opinion of this album: it is brilliant! I don't care what the band's history is, I don't care that this is about as Metal as The Cardigans, I don't care if they've "gone soft", I only perceive what is radiating in my cerebrum through the speakers right now, and it is beautiful - at times jazzy, other times it is layered to the gills with effects and samples, and one would be hard-pressed to point out a single distorted guitar on the entire album, but that in no way detracts the radiant musical splendour contained within "Memoirs"! I know that whenever I find myself at a complete loss for words when trying to review an album, 90% of the time it is the sign of a great band. THE 3rd & THE MORTAL have unanimously won me over here, and I've a feeling that anyone who bothers to check out "Memoirs" based on my review (I know you're out there!) are likely to say "man, what kind of fruitcakes do they have working at that Metal Observer?"...well, what can I say? Slap a dress on me and call me Wes, I mean...Susan...

Of special note are the vocals, which vary between almost Bowie-sounding croons ("Those Of My Kind"), to lisp-y spoken-word ("The City" - reminding me of one of those "open mic poetry nights" they have at coffee bars), to the dream-like and altogether unique melodies of their female vocalist who's name escapes me and is not written on the booklet (I think it should be Ingrid M Tolstad… - Alex). I know that such an opinion of an album like this will NOT win me any points in the "Metal as fuck"-category, but how can I lie to myself? I'm entranced, plain and simple. Amazing band, amazing album, but not for everybody. In fact, not for MOST of you, but maybe I've won just a few of you over here?

Gabriel Gose



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