Get this: A talented guitarist leaves family and friends behind and moves from Texas to L.A. to pursue his dream to become a professional musician. He starts giving guitar lessons and the third student to walk in the door is a bloke called Guy Ritchie. Yeah, the fellow who was married to Madonna. And guess what? Soon, the young Texan gives Madonna guitar lessons. And then why not join her entourage as a guitarist and co-composer? Hell, yes, why not indeed?
And now you might wonder why Madonna's guitarist is in ANY way interesting for someone who writes for a site like this, not to mention for someone who reads reviews on a site like this. The reason why I recognised the name on the list of albums available for reviews, boys and girls, is that Monte Pittman also was part of Prong for a considerable while ('Scorpio Rising', 'Power of the Damager' and '100% Live'). And 'The Power Of Three', I can assure you, has very little to do with Like A Virgin or Vogue.
The gloomy acoustic intro of the first tune, A Dark Horse, could pretty much lead into anything, but what it leads to is a thrash metal track which is heavily influenced by early Metallica. The Bay Area influence can't be denied in Delusions of Grandeur either, except Monte's vocal is clean, almost polished, compared to what we're used to with this kind of music. I wouldn't say it's pop, but it's certainly a different take on thrash. I can't help thinking Soundgarden meets early Metallica.
With Everything's Undone Pittman moves into Alice In Chains territory, vocally even touches something which reminds me of Life Of Agony. Blood Hungry Thirst begins a bit Megadeth-like, but then breaks it down into a heavy Pantera groove (think 'Vulgar Display') and a bit more Alice In Chains.
And so it goes on. Thrash, grunge, heavy metal and rock come together in a listen-worthy brew that you can't really get tired from listening to. There are albums that are so well-played and sound so fundamentally good that you don't mind if you happened to leave it on repeat. 'The Power of Three' is that kind of album. Monte's voice is not your tough and brutal thrash voice. It's just controlled and pleasant to listen to.
As much as I like the dirt and grittiness of metal albums, I also love extremely well-produced albums. And the sound of 'The Power of Three' is perfect. Flemming Rasmussen took care of that as he did with 'Ride the Lightning', 'Master of Puppets' and 'And Justice...' - as well as 'Covenant' and 'Imaginations from the Other Side' for that matter.
If you want diversity, heaviness, well-wrought, catchy tunes and at the same time something which sounds really good, Monte Pittman is your man. I can also reveal that there's a bit of a surprise in the 13-minute+ tune All Is Fair In Love and War, but I'm not going to say what it is, hohoho. Check it out. Go get.