REVIEW: 3 – The Ghost You Gave To Me

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Artist: 3
Album: The Ghost You Gave To Me
Genre: Progressive
Label: Metal Blade Records

Boxes. Every style of music can be put into a box, even the stuff that’s “outside the box” (it’s in the “outside the box” box). Some progressive metal albums often try mightily to avoid fitting neatly into some sort of classification, while others don’t try at all. The latest record by 3 (three), The Ghost You Gave To Me falls into the former category. While they’ve done nothing totally ground-breaking or revolutionary, they do a damn fine job at doing something not many other bands can do.

The Ghost You Gave To Me is a fifty-four minute progressive adventure, but one that doesn’t come with any of the burdens that progressive metal often does. The Ghost You Gave To Me is an incredibly accessible album to nearly any listener. On the surface the album feels and sounds rather straightforward, but upon closer inspection 3 offers extreme amounts of subtle complexities, all masked by fun and catchy vocal hooks.

Avoiding the folly of devolving into pure, progressive wankery and a complete disregard for songwriting, The Ghost You Gave To Me features songs of very manageable length that are brilliantly constructed. Clear and prominent displays of technical prowess appear throughout the album, but are always presented in the most tasteful of packages. The melodic and harmonic shifts within each song and between songs are very engaging, many of which are uncommon in metal music. Each successive listen sheds light on new subtleties that only enrich the listening experience.

Calling The Ghost You Gave To Me a metal album is really tough to do. While it may have the technical prowess of prog metal, and the passion of many metal bands, aesthetically the album’s mostly just a rock album (albeit many types of rock). It so happens, however, that some of the best moments on the album are the metal ones. Some prime examples of some truly fantastic moments on the album are the chorus of “Sparrow” and the entire second half of “It’s Alive” which features one of the better guitar solos I’ve heard in quite some time.

For anyone interested in a hook-laden, sensibly written, progressive rock/metal album 3 have given quite the offering in what is their most solid work to date. Even if that doesn’t sound like something you’d like, The Ghost You Gave To Me probably still features a lot of music you can still appreciate. In a year that already features a litany of massive releases, The Ghost You Gave To Me has placed itself among the best.

Score: 9/10
Review written by: Jordan Munson (check him out on Twitter)

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