3.2 – Third Impression

3.2 – Third Impression

This is the third record in renowned musician Robert Berry’s prog rock trilogy comprised of songs where certain ideas, themes, and melodies were written years ago by the aforementioned Berry and the legendary and sadly missed Keith Emerson (ELP). A few years ago, Robert decided to revisit some of the material that the two gentlemen had been working on together under the moniker 3 and then eventually released three albums using the modified band name 3.2, which makes sense.    


Given that the whole "3" project was originally conceived back in the late 80s, it should come as no surprise that this LP also bears some of the trademarks and characteristics of that era and that there is an 80s sheen to the proceedings especially with respect the sound and feel of the songs and the atmosphere that they exude. There is a heartfelt and quite gentle quality to many of these compositions, which is not to say that there are no dramatic flourishes or energetic outbursts present on the disc because there are plenty of those too, but you can sense the longing and emotional weight of the material. The standouts are the beautifully constructed and moving "Black of Night" and "A Bond of Union" – both of which will tug at your heartstrings.


Musically and stylistically, 3.2 is not a million miles away from what Asia and Dukes of the Orient are all about, which has to do with some of the more pop-ish elements that often sneak into Robert Berry’s immersive soundscapes. However, there is no shortage of epic passages or stomping, "Kashmir"-like riffs on "Third Impression" – it is a diverse offering.


The strength of the album lies in its great melodies and their ability to transport the listener elsewhere as well as the clever arrangements that will undoubtedly dazzle you at times. "Third Impression" is neither spellbinding nor revolutionary, but it is a hugely impressive piece of work that is easy to admire. The spirit of Emerson courses through these sparkling tunes and Berry’s musical vision is extraordinary.