3 – The Ghost You Gave To Me (Metal Blade Records)

Saturday, 23rd March 2013
Rating: 8/10

The best band seemingly no one outside of metal knows about, 3’s superlative songwriting abilities and magnetic presence are ignited again on their fifth album, The Ghost You Gave To Me. Main dude Joey Eppard’s vocals have gotten only higher (and better), thus rolling out an even more hearty platter of hooks galore, to go along the band’s melting pot style.

This one doesn’t hit quite as hard as 2007’s brilliant The End Is Begun, which is weird considering it’s heavier than its predecessor. The band’s underlying metal influence pokes its head out from time to time, only as means to set up Eppard and a killer chorus. But when the band wants to space things out and bring down the melodic curtain, a lot of these songs catch fire rather easily, especially the lead-off “React” and “High Times,” the latter of which is single material all the way.

Once deep into the album, 3’s songwriting depth is found on “Pretty,” a dreamy, stop-start number with Eppard crowing, “Don’t bother to come back home!” with full-on intensity. The poppy “Afterglow” and proggy “Only Child” adds to the album’s wingspan, resulting in the notion that this could be 3’s most expansive album. Moreoever, there’s an even mix between the band’s disparate styles, but in the end, it all comes together nicely.

A journalist’s quandary is finding the right words to relay how 3 sounds, and while grand-scale success has continue to elude them, we’re more than happy to keep them for ourselves in the metal scene. The Ghost You Gave To Me is a must-have for anyone who respects a well-written song. Yeah, that’s really general statement, but these are the type of things one must type when trying to describe metal/hard rock’s #1 hybrid band.

www.myspace.com/officialbandthree

(This content originally appeared on Blistering.com)