3; "The End Has Begun Special Edition" (Metal Blade) ***

The bonus materials are worth the price of repurchasing 3's "The End Has Begun Special Edition."

In addition to the original CD, featuring the New York-based progressive metal band's epic 13-track masterpiece, the package includes a bonus DVD with live performances of earlier and, of course, intricate compositions "Monster" — which segues into a bit of acoustic guitar ripping of "Bramfatura" — "Amazed Disgrace" and a more expanded version of "Bramfatura." The DVD also features the music videos of "All That Remains" and "Alien Angel."

It's still funny to hear the different tongue-in-cheek name dropping of up-and-coming metal bands All That Remains, My Bloody Valentine and In Flames in the pop-prog of "All That Remains."

There is a bonus song on the CD that will undoubtedly catch the listener's attention — especially those who are familiar with progressive rock throughout the ages.

The band does its own version of the early Pink Floyd classic "See Emily Play." And true to form, 3 puts its own trademark sound to the loyal remake.

Fans will undoubtedly want to have the special edition in their collection. And by checking out the bonus materials, even casual fans will find appreciation in the band's technique, musicality and ear for complex, dynamic and epic arrangements.

E-mail: scott@desnews.com