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3 Inches of Blood
Advance and Vanquish
November 2004
Released: 2004, Roadrunner Records
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland

There is nothing more metal than songs about battle, swords, blood, pain, evil and killer cyborgs all sung by two guys with piercing screams and backed by unrelenting dueling guitar riffs and solos. To have all of this rolled into one must then be the most metallic thing ever and guess what? Vancouver’s own 3 Inches of Blood have done just that on their major label debut, ADVANCE AND VANQUISH. Cam Pipes (has there ever been a guy whose name personifies metal more than that?!?!) and Jamie Hooper remain the only members from their indie debut, 2002’s BATTLE CRY UNDER A WINTER SUN, but Bobby Froese and Sunny Dhak still played on the CD before jumping ship soon after recording finished. The band was scooped up by Roadrunner (an interesting choice given the label’s affinity for driving away most of their metal bands lately) who has definitely given them top priority budget-wise. The cover by Ed Repka (Death, Megadeth, Possessed) is immediately striking and the legendary Neil Kernon (Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, Judas Priest, Queensryche) handles production duties giving the CD a crisp, muscular sound while Colin Richardson (Machine Head, Bolt Thrower, Fear Factory, Overkill, God Forbid) did the mixing. Not too shabby of a start for a bunch of Canadian dudes! For those who haven’t had the pleasure of hearing 3 Inches of Blood before, the band is a blend of old school power metal a la Accept, Judas Priest, etc. featuring Pipes incredible screams (only King Diamond has a more intense scream and Udo Dirkschneider a more unique voice) and Hooper’s black metal shrieks, while the soloing and riffs come fast and furious to satisfy the headbanging elite. If this opening paragraph has not sold even the most fickle of metalheads, then turn in your spiked wristband, cut your hair and run off to the local hip-hop club.

A three-part saga subtitled “Upon The Boiling Sea” establishes the framework for thirteen tracks of neck-snapping, body thrashing, headbanging, 99 1/100% pure ass kicking metal! “Deadly Sinners” was available earlier this summer to whet the appetites of fans for what was to come. The sing-along chorus and verses like “Enemies of metal, your death is our reward” harbor no covert messages as to what 3 Inches of Blood is all about. Only the mighty Manowar can write poetry like that! Just listen to Pipes’ wail “...daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaark!” at the 2:00 mark or his closing “YEAAAAAAH!!!!” to earn his metal mettle. Hooper’s screams are just as punishing and while it is easy to get lost behind Pipes, he holds his own here. “Revenge Is A Vulture” gets my vote for metal song of the year. The lead in gets the energy flowing and the riffs are just phenomenal. The chorus is infectious and the verses are filled with a galloping rhythm that leaves the listener powerless to his or her neck muscles. Thy head shalt bang! “Dominion of Deceit” is a speedy thrasher reminiscent of Overkill and Hooper absolutely owns this track. “Premonition of Pain” features some cool vocal trade-offs between Pipes and Hooper and the gallop once again gets hold of you. “Wykydtron,” a real standout with its smoking riffs and solo, continues on the trend of memorable choruses and the “Whoa-oh” is a nice touch.

Along with Annihilator and Strapping Young Lad, 3 Inches of Blood have become hometown heroes to us all and ADVANCE AND VANQUISH will find their way into many headbanger’s hearts as well. This CD should be on many top lists come the end of 2004 and rightfully so. It embodies everything that is great about metal and delivers it in a slick package for all to enjoy. Do not miss this band live, find a copy of their first CD and listen to the gospel of Cam Pipes on ADVANCE AND VANQUISH: throw the “horns up high in praise” for 3 Inches of Blood!!!!!

KILLER KUTS: “Deadly Sinners,” “Revenge Is A Vulture,” “Premonition of Pain,” “Wykydtron,” “Swordmaster”
Track Listing

1. Fear On The Bridge (Upon The Boiling Sea I)
2. Deadly Sinners
3. Revenge Is A Vulture
4. Dominion of Deceit
5. Premonition of Pain
6. Lord of The Storm (Upon The Boiling Sea II)
7. Wykydtron
8. Swordmaster
9. Axes of Evil
10. Crazy Nights
11. Destroy The Orcs
12. The Phantom of The Crimson Cloak
13. Isle of Eternal Despair (Upon The Boiling Sea III)


Cam Pipes--Vocals
Jamie Hooper--Vocals
Sunny Dhak--Guitar
Bobby Froese--Guitar
Brian Redman--Bass
Matt Wood--Drums

Next review: » 3 Inches of Blood - Advance and Vanquish
3 Inches of Blood
Advance and Vanquish
December 2004
Released: 2004, Roadrunner
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: JP

Year-end wrap-up: Each of the last few years to wrap up the year I have picked a theme for my reviews for December. This year due to the overwhelming number of CD’s that deserve exposure, recognition and commentary I am going to resort to quantity over quality. I usually try to give as much attention to each CD with extensive commentary however this month’s reviews (perhaps unfortunately) will be short and sweet and much more in the style of traditional magazine reviews where space restrictions are an important factor. (ie. Less detail) I apologize in advance to readers who expect much more detailed reviews. Please check the reviews archives as many of my colleagues have written excellent detailed commentary of many of these CD’s. I hope the large number of quick comments will help guide you making some of those important year-end CD purchase decisions. Happy Holidays and see you in January. JP

This is one of the few bands that I will openly say, “I was an original fan!”. Their debut indie EP caught my ear about four years ago when it arrived at my radio station. The vocal attack, the Maiden-esque guitar parts (and the fact that they were a regional band) helped bring them to my attention. My radio show’s co-host dismissed them at the time as a ‘Maiden clone’ but I still had faint had hopes. After championing their last, indie CD for two years to anyone who would listen, I was worried when they signed to the weak, trend-driven label Roadrunner. Well, politics (and my silly bragging) aside, the band are now kicking ass on the global scene. They posses an old-school thrash-inspired/true metal purity that brings a smile to my face that is a mile-wide. Advance and Vanquish is a cool package, (nice cover!) lyrics, notes and so on. The CD is anchored by tracks one, six and thirteen, the pirate inspired trilogy, ‘Upon The Boiling Seas’ but every song is a winner. ‘Deadly Sinners’ is the first single and video and will be a fan favorite for years to come. It doesn’t get any more metal, or fun than this… well, except maybe for Manowar.
Track Listing

1. Fear Upon The Bridge (Upon The Boiling Sea I)
2. Deadly Sinners
3. Revenge Is A Vulture
4. Dominion of Deceit
5. Premonition Of Pain
6. Lord Of The Storm (Upon The Boiling Sea II)
7. Wykydtron
8. Swordmaster
9. Axes of Evil
10. Crazy nights
11. Destroy The Orcs
12. The Phantom Of The Crimson cloak
13. Isle Of Eternal Despair (Upon The Boiling Sea III)


Jamie Hooper-Vocals
Cam Pipes-Vocals
Justin Hagberg-Guitar
Shane Clark-guitar
Brain Redman-Bass
Matt Wood-Drums



Next review: » 3 Inches of Blood - Advance and Vanquish
3 Inches of Blood
Advance and Vanquish
March 2005
Released: 2004, Roadrunner Records/Bonnier Amigo
Rating: 4.0/5
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.
Track Listing

Fear on the Bridge (Upon the Boiling Sea I)
Deadly Sinners
Revenge is a Vulture
Dominion of Deceit
Premonition of Pain
Lord of the Storm (Upon the Boiling Sea II)
Axes of Evil
Crazy Nights
Destroy the Orcs
The Phantom of the Crimson Cloak
Isle of Eternal Despair (Upon the Boiling Sea III)


Cam Pipes – Lead vocals
Jamie Hooper – Lead vocals
Justin Hagberg – Guitar
Kevin Keegan – Guitar
Brian Redman – Bass
Matt Wood – Drums

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