IIIrd Alternative’s six-track album, IIIA is full of twists and turns. The first big surprise is the progressive rock and the second, is the lack of vocals. Despite these surprises, this is a really good album!
Very rock-esq, with half the songs on the album being at least ten minutes and has a real smooth vibe to it, but when it is heavy, you know about it! The music appears pretty epic, like it is trying to tell a story, especially on the 13 minute opener, Umbra.
The production cannot be faulted, because it is flawless and the guitar tones are beautiful when they want to be, crushingly heavy when they’re not. IIIrd Alternative manages to hold interest as though it is second nature to them, with the songs ever flowing and changing to keep you interested.
The musicianship of these soundscapes has done well to absorb the listener into an almost unseen new world, and second track Eye against Eye has an epic intro before slowing things down to a creepy reflective vibe. This is modern prog at its ultimate best. Perhaps more could be done with the drumming, but when teamed with the guitars, it still keeps it interesting.
Morbid guitar tones, along with background ambience introduce The Great Flood in an, almost impressively, gloomy way, and yet we are taken to brand new heights with this 12-minute, third track where my mind was blown approximately five minutes in. With dual guitars rocking some awesome riffs and not letting up, keeping me interested with my favourite track of the album.
The band that IIIrd Alternative may be (wrongly) compared too is some of Mogwai’s soundscape stuff, and yet, I instantly feel that this is better due to the feeling of a full force punch being packed into the album. Dark Rift continues on the epic tradition and really introduces electronic sounds into things. Not exactly mixing things up too much, it is more subtle than that. Each track is kept really fresh, and each track suddenly becomes a favourite.
Deficit sounds akin to an action movies climax and invokes thoughts of war; being one of the shorter tracks, it is also consistently heavier too. AEbel comes in as it should go on but slows itself down after the one minute mark.
Overall, an incredible album that cannot be ignored. Standing out due to the impressive production and sheer epic scale of the songs, it deserves full attention from the listener and makes no bones in grabbing you from the start. From start to finish, the listener is taken upon a journey that will have them recommending this to their friends.