Thursday, April 26, 2012
Initial Impressions: 3 Inches of Blood: Long Live Heavy Metal
I have really enjoyed 3 Inches of Blood for quite some time now. There is just something to be said for a band that is so unabashedly unashamed of what they are doing. The band first garnered attention with the absolutely ridiculous song "Destroy the Orcs". It was pretty clear where exactly 3 Inches of Blood stood. They were a fantasy-inspired band that made no apologies for their subject matter. Sort of a new-age Manowar.
Their music was a bit of a different story. In the early days, there was quite a bit of metalcore present which of course lead to the band being dismissed as poseurs and metalcore kids. Much of this animosity was due to the band having two vocalists, with one performing falsetto-type vocals similar to King Diamond and the other doing hardcore-style shouting. That was about it for the core elements, but it was enough to turn a lot of people off.
After the band's third full-length album though, the hardcore vocalist left the band and, rather than replacing him, Cam Pipes took over full vocal duties. Unfortunately the band seemed a little out-of-synch on the next album. Which brings us to this one.
Whatever went wrong on the last album has been fixed. 3 Inches of Blood is back to producing blood-pumping, anthemic heavy metal once again. There are no core elements to be found here. It is simply balls-to-the-wall heavy metal. The 1980's speed metal-inspired riffing is still present backed up Pipes's amazing, ur, pipes. Many of the songs have pretty cheesy lyrics, but that is to be expected with this band. "Metal Woman" and "Leather Lord" are just two examples.
One surprise is the song "Lookout" which features various references to Ronnie James Dio and is meant as a tribute. Pipes does a pretty decent job sounding like a more extreme version of Dio on this song.
3 Inches of Blood have come back in a big way on this album. It is not for everyone, but it is a highly-impressive release nonetheless.