Review Summary: A work of rare vision, still far ahead of its time.
Now let's talk about a trip, man!
This is some deeply extreme music that we have to do with in here. And Phase 3: Thrones And Dominions still provides a deeply confusing experience for any casual listener, let alone for a poor guy like myself attempting to review this ***.
Is it an absolute masterpiece of experimental drone in its purest form" Or is it a ridiculously boring atonal dirge of drug-infused self indulgence"
I guess that the latter description will ring true for most of the people in planet Earth (haha). but then again, I believe that the few people finding themselves leaning closer to the former one tend to be way cooler and sexier than most.
And that's because, even with a presentation as excruciatingly slow, heavy, repetitive and monotonous as it appears to come with, this is a record of pure vision and rare soul. And even after all these years that came and went since its release date, I will come as far as to argue that it doesn't even remotely sound like any other piece of music known to mankind.
See, it mostly consists of ultra-fuzzy guitar work, and mostly a 'soundscape' songwritting approach. All of it is entirely instrumental, and rarely coming along with any hint of percussion. It sure demands patience for a guy or a girl to sit through all 50 minutes of it in one taking ("Phase 3: Agni Detonating Over The Thar Desert...", essentially a noise loop repeating itself over 12 minutes, can be especially challenging).
Still, once you loosen up enough (recreational drug use or not) to chill out and absorb its primal, devastatingly raw mood and ever so slight movements in sound and tone, you may as well find yourself in places mostly unexplored through, you know, other music.
And as often as Phase 3 can be depressing, it can also be grand, awe-inspiring, and even beautiful. Dare you listen to "Harvey" or "Song 6 (Chime)" and ever try to deny their sheer, monolithic beauty.