Words: Craig Hartranft
Where to begin? Introducing the band Third Ion or my blatant skepticism about them? Actually both converge. Third Ion is a progressive metal band consisting of former members of Devin Townsend Project and Into Eternity. Their common interests revolve around prog, science, video games, which informs their music. So much so that lyrically the songs consider physics and metaphysics and, musically, the title track is written in 13/8 time signature. Moreover, all the songs will be released in 8-bit as an homage to early video games.
And that's where my skepticism reared it's ugly head. Cripes. Chiptunes meets metal. Nintendo and Super Mario and their sparkle and glitter music invading my ear drums. And MIDI too. I hate that shit. And then to think of the players' former band background. No, not death vocals, too.
But. Behold. My fears were unnecessary. 13/8Bit is some pretty classy and inventive melodic progressive metal, and there's no death metal vocals. Yeah, in the title track they do some of that Nintendo wonkery, but it's a rather cool and entertaining song, even playful. The songs are large on massive, but not deathly technical, riffs, inherent melody and harmony, and sufficient intrigue in arrangements. Then they're spiced by Justin Bender's spry and fierce guitar solos. Even bass player Mike Young gets to do so as within the second half of Particle Displacement Mechanism or Capitol Spill, by example. You'll also find Young's keyboards in the mix, notably within Time Lapse Beta, varying between simple piano to ethereal synths. Underneath, yet also nearly ubiquitous, are Aaron Edgar's drums, providing beat and rhythm, but also offering some flurries of poly-rhythms. Things do get slightly weird with the only instrumental, Van Halien. It sounds like chiptune, metal, and jazz fusion but, in the end, it's strangely convincing, even appealing. So my skepticism and fears were largely unfounded. Third Ion's 13/8Bit is creative and intriguing progressive metal, defintely worth your time and consideration. Recommended.
My skepticism and fears were largely unfounded. Third Ion's 13/8Bit is creative and intriguing progressive metal, defintely worth your time and consideration. Recommended.
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