January 15, 2005

CD Review: 3 Inches of Blood - Advance and Vanquish

A few months ago I witnessed the band with the bizarre title 3 Inches of Blood perform live as the opening act for long running metal act Metal Church. The first thing that struck me at that show was just how many people were there to see them, there were a lot. My guess was that they made a good impression on the Ozzfest tour this past summer. Anyway, I thought their performance was good, the mix was thick, and they tore it up onstage. They were not what you would typically associate with my tastes, but I was impressed so I figured I would check out their CD.

I've gone through the disk a few times now, and I must say that I like them even more now. The sound on disk is different than what I expected. What I was expecting was something unorthodox and chaotic in nature. I was expecting something from the wall of guitar school. What I got was something completely different. Not the best I have ever heard but still impressive.

The more I listened, the more I got a sense of old school metal with a modern spin. There are noticeable influences from acts such as Judas Priest, Manowar, and Mercyful Fate. There are layers of heavy riffs, lead break harmonies, the guitarwork is a lot more technically precise than I was expecting. The rhythm section was tight, keeping time to the precise guitarwork. The dual vocals from Cam Pipes and Jamie Hooper actually works really good. During the live show I was hard pressed to hear that much of a difference in their voices, but in the proper mixing environment the differences are much more apparent.

This disk is not what I expected, in a good way. It is a throwback to the old school metal while keeping it in the modern era. The album is built around the "Upon the Boiling Sea" trilogy, which gives us a nice framework for the medieval themed tracks. Something else to note are the great song titles, how can you go wrong with "Revenge is a Vulture," "Premonition of Pain," and "Destroy the Orcs."

Bottomline. This is definitely something you're going to want to check out if you are a fan of the old school of metal. 3 Inches of Blood are an up and coming act to keep an eye on, if they can build on their apparent success from Ozzfest, we may have a breakout star with an odd name.



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