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Three Points of Madness - Reefer Madness

Three Points of Madness
Reefer Madness
by David Hough at 21 September 2022, 2:13 PM

THREE POINTS OF MADNESS play progressive metal with one foot in the past and the other in the present. “Reefer Madness” is their fourth full-length album. I found the first five tracks to be uninspired and, frankly, disposable. In “Like Father, Like Son,” they appear to channel the teen angst of bands like PAPA ROACH and STAIND. I got over that phase over twenty years ago. On “Reefer Madness,” they do their best tribute to BLACK SABBATH filtered through early ALICE IN CHAINS. There really isn’t much to these tracks.

That brings me to their sixth track, “Off With Your Head.” This mostly-instrumental track is lots of fun. Ron Pacheco’s bass licks are a joy to hear. George Petrus’ riffing is on point. There’s even a cool synthesizer part that’s reminiscent of the ALAN PARSONS PROJECT’s best work. Also, Sean Daudelin’s double bass drumming really adds something to the mix.

And then there’s “Believe In Me.” This is more of a country song with metal elements sparsely added in. For all intents and purposes, this is an 80s power ballad. It’s slower than the other tracks, the lyrics are corny, and it’s six minutes long. Petrus channels Brett Michaels and Aaron Lewis equally. I would have devoured songs like this in my early twenties, but now that I’ve matured considerably, I just found this song to be trite and whiny.

After that track, they channel GWAR in “Mjölnir (Hammer Of The Gods).” In this song, the lyrics say: “They put up their walls,” and then Petrus sings about breaking them down with the titular hammer. It isn’t clear who “they” are, so it just comes off as another angst-ridden, immature song. At least this time, they play early thrash, and the music is catchy.

Then comes “Wish Away,” a more doom metal-sounding track with great instrumentation. The double bass flourishes are spot on, and the main riff reminds me of HIGH ON FIRE in speed and presence. There are raspy backing vocals peppered in the mix that ruin some compelling music. Then, it seems like the song has come to its logical conclusion, but it starts up again with some interesting progressive rock passages. Naturally, then they ramp back up to the song’s earlier intensity before the actual ending.

Witch’s Tit” comes out swinging with a fast intro, but then Daudelin’s double bass work overpowers everything else. It’s as if he just got a new double bass kit, and he can’t wait to try it out on every song. This time Petrus sounds like he’s channeling JERRY CANTRELL, which isn’t bad; it’s just that he’s been miming other vocal styles so much, I begin to wonder what he sounds like without being so derivative. Except for the overzealous double bass, the music is excellent. I just take issue with the lyrics and vocals.

Satan’s Minions” is an old-school doom metal track that could have easily been done by CATHEDRAL. The riffs are nice, the synth is a little on the nose but still fun, and there are more superfluous raspy backing vocals. There’s even a cool, mid-song jam session that ends on an ALICE COOPER note.

The final track, “Rise Above,” gets off to a great start with some fine riffs. This one’s more of a progressive metal track than the others on “Reefer Madness.” It’s kind of everywhere at once, but without sounding too abrasive. Then the song eventually gets old. There’s a great four-minute song within its five and a half minutes.

I found this album to be a mixed bag. As I mentioned earlier, It would have seen plenty of air time in my teenage bedroom. Now it just sounds uninspired and derivative at the same time. Also, in the streaming age, hour-long albums must be gripping from start to finish to hold most people’s attention. Most people have trouble with any album over forty minutes. I will say that the second half is much better than the first, which is an anomaly given most listeners’ short attention spans.

Songwriting: 3
Musicianship: 4
Memorability: 3
Production: 5

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Like Father, Like Son
2. Reefer Madness
3. Test Tube Zombies
4. Walk Away, Or You’ll Die
5. Snakes of Medusa
6. Off With Your Head
7. Believe In Me
8. Mjölnir (Hammer of the Gods)
9. Wish Away
10. Witch’s Tit
11. Satan’s Minions
12. Rise Above
Lineup:
Ron Pacheco - Bass
Sean Daudelin - Drums
George Petrus - Guitar, Vocals
Record Label: Independent
     


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