3 Inches of Blood
Advance and Vanquish

METAL!!! I’ve got absolutely NO business liking this album. By all rights, due to the Rob Halford/King Diamond-like squeals of Cam Pipes alone I shouldn’t have even made it past the first song. However, a few things not only keep me listening but actually end up making this a damn fine METAL!!! album.

First, to offset Pipes’ nails on a chalkboard screech, a second vocalist, Jamie Hooper backs up pipes with a regular black metal rasp, that reduces Pipes impact somewhat and give the album an added level of extremity. Second, the music itself is so damn’ ‘METAL!!! You can’t help but enjoy this Canadian band’s mix of classic NWBHM, thrash, melodic death metal and even black metal. The end result plays out like utterly rollicking, , more extreme version of Iron Maiden and The Lord Weird Slough Feg meets Epoch of Unlight’s lighter moments (think ‘Crimson & Steel’ from Caught in the Unlight). Quite simply, the album just rocks hard with studded full leather outfit attitude and a fist pounding, head banging, old school approach mixed with a modern metal sheen. If Pipes delivers the album’s retro stylings, guitarists Sunny Dhak and Rob Froese give the album its modern veneer with almost Swedish like dual guitar work mixed with stout NWBHM pacing. Hooper’s scathing scowl gives the album it’s more extreme element and balances out Pipes wail and gives the album some appeal to fans of heavier metal like myself. It’s not only a clever amalgamation to draw fans of all metal sub genres, but it all flows seamlessly with flourish vigor and well’.METAL!!!

While the album certainly promotes random yelling of the word METAL!!! It’s actually got some succinct song writing that’s epic and powerful enough to warrant your attention for its skill, not just its nostalgia value. Lyrically, 3 Inches of Blood face their only shortcomings as while their music mixes styles perfectly their 80’s Axes, Demons ‘n’ leather approach is a committed, convincing addition to their throwback repertoire or just lack of imagination. Either way, the album is molten, smoking classic metal through and through and most of the songs are hymnal, horn throwin’ anthems of tight jeans and spandex-maybe with corpsepaint and an 8′ spiked wrist band. ‘Deadly Sinners’ is the album’s first attention getter with some superb vocal interplay between Pipes and Hooper for the addictive chorus, and while the album has its filler and quirky, almost ‘too’ retro choice of tracks (‘Crazy Nights’, ‘Destroy the Orcs’, ‘Axes of Evil’), as a whole though, the fifty minutes is well worth every listen. ‘Dominion of Deceit’, ‘Lord of the Storm (Upon the Boiling Sea II)’ and ‘Swordmaster’ have to rate as three of the better tracks on the album as they seethe with more of Hooper’s rasp, and back it with a slightly more aggressive pace. Still, there’s no denying the sheer METAL!!! catchiness and frivolity of tracks like the eloquently thrashy yet melodic clout of ‘Premonition of Pain’ and the utter vocal audacity of ‘Wykydtron’.

The strange thing is, as the album plays, I find myself endearing to Pipes vocals, as they seem to just suit the music perfectly and part of the entire METAL!!! package 3 Inches shamelessly present. I can’t imagine any other style delivering the album closer ‘Isle of Eternal Despair (Upon the Boiling Sea III)’ and in conjunction with Hooper, make for a perfect METAL!!! duo. Completed by the Frank Franzetta ‘esque artwork, as well as an all star production/mix from Neil Kernon and Colin Richardson, 3 Inches of Blood are the absolute epitome of METAL!!! and smartly manage to appeal to all spectrums of the genre. Y’know what? Stop reading and just go get this. Oh and Roadrunner- you’re almost forgiven’.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
September 28th, 2004

Comments

  1. Commented by: Old Pick Axe

    I love these guys. I saw them open for GWAR in late 2007 and they tore the roof off of the joint. (Said joint of course being the Masquerade in Atlanta.)


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