3 Headed Monster
posted on 11/2007 By:
The voyeuristic metal fan can surf around for music at will these days; the ability to discover band upon craptacular band is literally at one’s fingertips. Those brave enough to troll the river of sludge can learn quite a bit about a band by scoping the stream of influences they spit. If it starts with something like “Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Bathory…” –well, regardless of quality, at least you know that their hearts are in the right place. If the list is a scatterbrained scroll filled with fresh-faced, scenester scrappers *cough* The Agonist’s*cough* --well, a person can always keep on clickin’. So what influences do Three Headed Monster cite? Anything and everything remotely related to pro wrestling, that’s what: Haku, Masa Chono, Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, The Goon (218, what!), Arn Anderson, the WCW Television Title, the 450 splash...the list goes on (and on). So what bearing does this have on their brand of instrumental metal? Aside from some amusing Jim Hellwig and Howard Finkel samples, not fucking much. But at least these guys are having fun.
Instrumental metal is a touchy issue, very love/hate; other than champs Zebulon Pike and the now-defunct Karma To Burn, there are few practitioners that can kick ass, sans singer. 3HM’s take isn’t particularly epic or ferocious, nor is it stoned-to-the-bone. More jam room groove-stomp than structured sidewind, they sound like three guys that love metal, enjoy playing together, and simply couldn’t find a singer. This accidental formula worked for Mastery (in EP format, mind you), but those dudes had an arsenal of ass-tearing riffs working in their favor. Unfortunately, 3HM guitarist Chris Kessaris’ chugga/thump/gallop riffing style leaves much to be desired, and his penchant for squirreling onto “Sanitarium”-esque tangents isn’t exactly stirring. As a unit, 3HM create an amalgamation of melodic death, near-thrash, and alt-rock that sounds very 1990's. If that sounds like it'll twinkle your toes, then by all means, turn down the volume on your copy of WCW/NWO Revenge and crank this thing up.
Wrestling goofs will get a kick out of the inside jokes lodged in the song titles, but if you’re like me, you’ll just get pissed that “Perfect Plex” isn’t an Electro Quarterstaff-style take on Mr. Perfect’s glorious entrance theme. Once the façade of quirkiness is lifted, there’s not much substance; Kessaris’ smokin’ leads are the only element that doesn’t flow into one ear and out the other. And the more trips that this album takes from canal-to-canal, the less appealing it gets. Instrumental metal aficionados (if they even exist) will find this worth a look, but honestly, most of these songs sound like they’d be great menu music for a TNA DVD. If these dudes are smart, they’ll arrange a conference call with Dixie Carter, ASAP.
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