Remember that viral video of Madonna playing a bit of Pantera's "A New Level"? Well, thanks for that go to ex-Prong member Monte Pittman, who was her guitarist at the time. Here, the metalhead rounds up Metallica trilogy producer Flemming Rasmussen to helm his third solo record, and while the production is great, the songs are a mixed bag. The hit-and-miss vocals scream pop metal (see "Everything Undone"), while the tunes flirt with thrash and guitar-guy prog; it clashes more than it flows. "Before the Mourning Son" has great groove and melodies, but much of the record is prohibitively stiff, odd for a guy used to playing stadiums. GREG PRATT
Check out "A Dark Horse" from The Power of Three.