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3 Mile Scream: A Prelude To Our Demise

By Andrew Depedro, Ottawa Correspondent
Saturday, June 30, 2007 @ 7:32 AM

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I have some bad news and good news to precede the review of both this band and album for those that take their investigation of fledgling heavy metal bands very seriously, with the bad news first:

This is indeed another self-professed hard-working melodic death metal band heavily influenced by the Scandinavian metal scene with the usual touches of old-school thrash and classic death metal thrown in for good measure. Y’know, like the million other self-professed hardworking melodic death metal bands heavily influenced by the Scandinavian metal scene with the usual touches of old-school thrash and classic death metal thrown in for good measure that came before them and will undoubtedly follow them. I’m certain that by the time I’ve actually submitted this review half of those aforementioned bands have either been dropped by their record labels for sounding too much like each other or have ditched their initial sound for something a little more mainstream, thus supposedly keeping it real and being able to later boast a fanbase that includes Mischa Barton and two random MuchMusic VJ’s with one of them always being Leah Miller. There’s no other diplomatic way of saying that those bands absolutely suck.

But the good news is that Montreal’s 3 Mile Scream have put out a debut CD that’s managed to distance themselves from that sorry category save for maybe one song out of 10. Many of your favorite bands like Lamb Of God, Unearth, Cryptopsy, Arch Enemy and Strapping Young Lad became immediate fans when 3 Mile Scream opened several of their tours in North America and Europe over the past couple of years and I believe that their bass player is a nephew of legendary blues rock guitarist Frank Marino, who’s done a pretty good job in hiding his inner death metal fan for the past 25 years. At least that’s why I think his name’s mentioned twice in the liner notes of the CD sleeve anyway.

On to the music itself, their Corporate Punishment Records debut A Prelude To Our Demise not only boasts but delivers some equally-handed amounts of aggression and melody. There’s still a fair amount of the growling dirty vocals leading to the clear-sounding vocals variety in some parts such as in “Forced Entry” and “What Once Was” but on the more crafted-out songs like “Escape The Irony” and “Dare To Question” frontman Matt McGachy finds the perfect balance and timing on when to use one or the other in the song. Plus the energy is so properly harnessed and conserved throughout this whole album it’s like listening to the soundtrack to the Kyoto Accord if it were written by Peter Dolving or Devin Townsend. Even a song like “Repent” which if featured at the end of almost any other album in this genre would come off as disposable filler but on Prelude it continues to seize the listener’s attention until the very end.

That said, what 3 Mile Scream excel at in brutal delivery and melodic musicianship, they tend to lack in songwriting. No one is expecting the next John Lennon to emerge from this band which is fine by me since lyrics like “Dissect the snake from the cause” (from “Mourning The Lost”) make a deep enough impact about the subject matter at hand (in this case, the loss of one of bass player Mike Marino’s relatives, to whom this album is dedicated to). “Crippled Nation”, on the other hand, is an exhibit on why your grandmother’s letters to the editor of the Globe & Mail should never be set to music. Especially in spoken word. “All you capitalist pigs/Go stew in the pen you call your country club/With all the other swine that will screw us over for a measly dollar”…processed rebellion at its worst. And the only noticeable blemish on the whole CD.

But I’ve heard enough songs and comparisons by and towards the Beatles to last me a lifetime anyway.



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