If you like kickass hard rock/heavy metal have I got an album for you! Monte Pittman, who has played and written with MADONNA, PRONG, and a host of others returns with his third album, and first for Metal Blade Records, The Power of Three. Now again, all I knew was what was on his resumé with other artists; I had no idea what his solo work would be like. Well, the results are in and this album rocks balls from start to finish! The production is also flawless, thanks to the legendary Flemming Rasmussen sitting in the chair and turning the knobs.
We start with the crackles and pops of an old record player before the one-two punch of “A Dark Horse” and “Delusions of Grandeur” set the heavy tone that is prevalent throughout. Monte’s solo is more of the neo-classical type on the latter, served over buckets of riffs and making it arguably the album’s strongest track. The beginning of “Everything’s Undone” had me wondering for a second if I was hearing a cover of AEROSMITH’S “Back In the Saddle” but mercifully that only lasted for a second. The good news is that this tune is reminiscent of the FOO FIGHTERS, who I love, so that’s pretty cool, no? Another thing that I loved is the fact that Monte’s voice is not only strong, but he pretty much always uses a clean vocal, and whether you think it belongs there or not, it works.
There’s chugga-chugga riffs aplenty on “Blood Hungry Thirst” and “On My Mind” which will definitely satisfy any Riffopotamus out there, myself included. I’m not sure how to describe “Before the Mourning Son”, honestly. The intro itself is one of the musical highlights of this record and when the song kicks in it goes in a few different directions, also making it one I had to listen to repeatedly. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, Monte says, “Nope!” and veers off yet again. This is a great song!
A softer tone marks the beginning of “End of the World” and even when Kane Ritchotte (drums) and Max Whipple (bass) join in it still treads lightly and is yet another album standout for me. The heavy comes back with a vengeance for “Missing”, a seven-minute unrelenting attack sure to get fists pumping and heads banging. An ALICE IN CHAINS vibe permeates “Away From Here” as well, once again showing just how many different styles of writing are in Monte’s quiver of arrows. Which leads me to album closer/epic/holy shit/masterpiece “All Is Fair In Love and War”…you wanna talk about takin’ a ride? For thirteen minutes Monte and Co. will have you on the musical roller coaster, giving you a bit of everything, and doing it beautifully. You’ll have to hear it for yourselves, that’s really the best way to go about this.
So it’s safe to say that I thoroughly enjoyed my first Monte Pittman experience and I will DEFINITELY be catching the guys on tour in 2014. The Power of Three will be out everywhere on January 21. Mark your calendars, people, because you won’t want to miss this one.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “End of the World”, “All Is Fair In Love and War”, “Before the Mourning Son”, “Delusions of Grandeur”, “Missing”