3 Inches of Blood / Bison B.C.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
The Commodore Ballroom
Vancouver, BC Canada
***Live Review & All Photos By Lord of The Wasteland
Looking like someone slipped Rogaine into the Red Bull supply, the hairy pairing of 3 Inches of Blood and Bison B.C. made a hometown appearance together for a rare, all-ages afternoon show. The opportunity not to have to be out until 2:00AM was especially attractive, not to mention the sobriety of the crowd, though, I’m sure many of the lads in attendance shotgunned their fifths of lemon gin after their folks dropped them at the door.
Hot on the heels of QUIET EARTH, their just-released full-length debut (on indie powerhouse, Metal Blade Records, no less), Bison B.C. got the ball rolling with heavy credence right off the bat. The thick, lumbering sound projected by this four-piece is something to not just hear, but also feel. Masa Anzai’s three-string bass absolutely rumbles, threatening to make fact or fiction of the oft-discussed “brown note” during the instrumental, “Medication.” Focusing exclusively on the new record, “Primal Emptiness of Outer Space,” “Wendigo Pt. 1 (Quest For Fire)” and “Slow Hand of Death” nearly brought the roof down as James Farwell and Dan And took turns jarring the crowd with their guitar and vocal dynamics (And “growls”; Farwell “yells”). Drummer Brad McKinnon had some difficulties with his kick pedal but got things back on track quickly thanks to some duct tape and empathetic nods to the stirring crowd. Bison B.C. is no stranger to Vancouver (we know ‘em as just Bison ‘round these parts) but this was a treat seeing them in such a well-established venue than their usual (ie. less scummy) hall of choice.
Slow Hand of Death
Primal Emptiness of Outer Space
These Are My Dress Clothes
Wendigo Pt. 1 (Quest For Fire)
As I prepared to shoot 3 Inches of Blood from the photo pit, an older man was already situated there and looking about as out of place as one would expect at a show like this. Through his British accent, Mike Pipes, father of 3IOB singer Cam Pipes, introduced himself and we exchanged words on the band and the history of coverage here at Metal Rules. Once the band took the stage for its one-hour set, though, (with Pipes waving the flag of B.C. a la Bruce Dickinson during “The Trooper”) the gloves were off as most on hand were here to see yet another blistering performance by the Vancouver vets. Second vocalist Jamie Hooper is still out of the band following a career-threatening medical diagnosis surrounding his voice last fall, but guitarist Justin Hagberg filled Hooper’s shoes just fine. Rumor is that 3 Inches of Blood has left Roadrunner Records after just two albums but this didn’t seem to damper the spirits of the band, who seemed more than happy to have a much longer set than usual. Running through pretty much any song a fan would want to hear, even dusting off deep cuts like “Crazy Nights” and “Swordmaster” from 2004’s ADVANCE AND VANQUISH, this was one of the best shows I have ever seen from 3 Inches of Blood. New drummer Ash Pearson appeared comfortable and in perfect step with bassist Nick Cates at every turn. The guitar team of Hagberg and Shane Clark fired off blazing solos and Pipes never fails to impress with his classic metal vocal style and soaring falsettos. The crowd showed plenty of spark, too, belting out the choruses of “Destroy The Orcs,” “The Goatriders Horde” and “Deadly Sinners” amid a sea of moshing and furious headbanging.
Revenge Is A Vulture
Destroy The Orcs
Premonition of Pain
Ride Darkhorse Ride
Trial of Champions
The Goatriders Horde
There aren’t many better ways to spend a rain-soaked Saturday afternoon than among several hundred brothers and sisters waving the flag of metal high and proud. 3 Inches of Blood and Bison B.C. are two of Vancouver’s best up-and-coming metal bands, so witnessing them plying their trade is always a treat.
***Thanks to Jessica at Live Nation for the press pass.