Reviewed: March 2005
Released: 2004, Roadrunner Records/Bonnier Amigo
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
3 Inches of Blood is a band that was formed in 00, in Vancouver, Canada. They recorded a five piece demo and soon became a popular local concert draw during the following two years. During 02 they recorded “BATTLECRY UNDER A WINTER SUN”, and even though the distribution didn’t work out good enough the album sold pretty well. They shared the same label as the English band ‘The Darkness’, and they did a tour through Britain together; a tour that became a smash success.
Roadrunner noticed the band when they made their five track demo, leading the guys to sign on for Roadrunner in 04. Earlier the same year, work on their new album “ADVANCE AND VANQUISH” began, and their task was to do a classic metal album in every sense. The band got help from producer, Neil Kernon (Judas Priest, Queensryche), and engineer, Colin Richard (Cannibal Corpse, Napalm Death), to fulfill that task. The cover art was made by an artist with an old-school metal past, Ed Repka. He is the man behind all those cool Vic Rattlehead images on the early Megadeth albums.
The music is honest and straight heavy metal. There are many tempo changes and a lot of double bass pedals, along with twin guitar work by Sunny and Bob. It warms an old heavy metal heart like mine, to hear such a ‘straight in your face’ metal like this. They have also managed to keep the 80’s sound but in an updated sound picture, and only that gives them a higher score.
‘3 Inches of Blood’ consists of six members and one thing that makes them special, is having two singers, Cam and Jamie. Those two do an extraordinary job and complete each other really well.
Neil has managed to take out the absolute best of the guys, and has made a production that’s both hard/aggressive, and edgy. Everyone has a place in the sound picture; Sunny/Bob contribute with dazzling guitar work. Colin has done a perfect mixing job, and as you’ve probably guessed, I think the production is brilliant.
“ADVANCE AND VANQUISH” has a total amount of 13 songs and the material is written by Sunny/Cam/Bob and James. The quality of the material is very high, one killer track being, “Deadly Sinners”, which is a massive heavy metal track jammed with guitar parts and tempo changes. “Revenge is a Vulture” is a slower track where Sunny shines on guitar; a track that instantly sticks in your brain, and is clearly a sing-a-long friendly song. “Dominion of Deceit” is hard heavy metal of a distinct speed, leaving Cam and Jamie the biggest part in the sound picture. “Premonition of Pain” is a semi-fast, heavy metal track where Matt has to work very hard behind his drum set. “Wykydtron” and “Swordmaster” are two more technical, heavy metal tunes, with numerous tempo changes and variation in speed. The second song is straight up, hard, heavy metal with no fuss. “Crazy Nights” doesn’t go as fast, but is yet grinding and hard at the same time.
Something that strikes you when you listen to this is album, is the genuine feeling of pure 80’s metal at its best. The song arrangement, song structure, guitar work, and rhythm section, all remind you of the 80’s, but with an updated sound picture.
This is brilliant all the way through; on a positive note we have solid material and competent musicians. The album is both well produced and well mixed; the cover fitting the music and lyrics perfectly. Roadrunner Records has signed a band that has the ability to go very far. The only negative thing I can find within this album is the fact of having two vocalists. I don’t know which one of them has the louder voice, but it sounds like he tries to copy Rob Halford in some parts, and that’s never a good thing. Only Rob can sound and do what Rob does best, and we don’t need another copy of that. When he sings towards the other vocalists more dark voice, it sounds better, but otherwise he should tone down. I had this album for quite a while in order to see if I could get used to the high pitched vocalist; it gets better with time but it would help if they could tone that down. However, the lasting impression I get out of this album, is a great heavy metal experience.
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