Monte Pittman – The Power of Three – Metal Blade Records – Release 21-01-2014

Monte Pittman – The Power of Three – Metal Blade Records – Release 21-01-2014

Strange things happen in life. When Monte moved to LA and had to earn his way through life as a guitar teacher, his third student turned out to be Guy Ritchie. Yes, renowned director and ex-husband of Madonna. Through him he would soon meet the world famous pop star and even end up playing guitar for her live shows and albums. Aside from that he also had a short stint playing with Prong. In 2009 he released his first solo album, which was received quite favourably at the time. Now it is time for him to show us what he can do with his third album.

Monte Pittman’s band is:
Monte Pittman – Guitar and vocals
Kane Ritchotte – Drums
Max Whipple – Bass

The Power of Three
In the intro I mentioned the band Prong, mostly so that people wouldn’t be immediately put off by his job as Madonna’s guitar player. This would have been a waste, because opener and first single “Dark Horse” has flown in straight from the ‘80s! After a (too short) acoustic guitar intro you get pounded by the full force of Monte and friends, ‘80s Metallica style! A nice thrashy start, soon slowing down to a ‘90s sound like that of Machinehead and Pantera at the time. That’s just the calm before the killer solo on the track. Follow-up “Delusions of Grandeur” follows in the same vein of pounding heavy metal. If the opener didn’t take away any idea of him writing the occasional song for Madonna, you will have completely forgotten by now.

It’s not all pumping metal though. “Everything’s Undone” hints towards the ‘80s glam rock, albeit with a heavy sound. “Blood Hungry Thirst” is the last real burst of energy on the album, with a punkish attitude, before easing down considerably.
“On My Mind” and “Away from Here” are typical hard rock songs, such as Velvet Revolver played back in the day, though heavier of course. Even if you’re not really into that style you might still find enjoyment in the guitar solos, because they are damn good. “End of the World” sounds closer to the more popular young bands of the new millennium, with a lot of opportunities for singing along. “Missing” meanders between heavy hard rock and fast paced heavy metal.
The real treat is at the end, when we get the thirteen minute epic “All is Fair in Love and War”. With a long build up, this song makes up for the lack of metal with nicely chugging riffs, often hailing back to the darker ‘80s heavy/thrash metal sound, even surprising you with a very bluesy guitar solo halfway through the song. It might be unexpected, but it really fits on this diverse album. Luckily Monte shows us that he can still thrash and shred with the best of them soon afterwards, with a bloody long and bloody awesome guitar solo! And with a classic and long crash ending Monte gives us a good send-off until his next work.

Monte Pittman has brought forth quite a diverse and heavy album, showing off his broad song writing abilities. At the same kind that might also be its downfall, because it does require people with an open mind-set to appreciate the different styles.

Track list:

  1. A Dark Horse
  2. Delusions of Grandeur
  3. Everything’s Undone
  4. Blood Hungry Thirst
  5. On My Mind
  6. Away from Here
  7. Before the Mourning Son
  8. End of the World
  9. Missing
  10. All is Fair in Love and War

Score: 3.9 out of 5

 text: Robert Popovic

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