Review Summary: 3 Inches of Blood make a commendable statement, and back it up with high energy power metal.
3 Inches of Blood have always been known for there rather cheesy and often times overdone approach to power metal. For this album the band decided it was time to step up their game and get a little more serious. Musical prowess has always saved them from mediocrity, but this time around it does more than just save them, this time their musicianship brings them to whole new levels of creativity and realized sound.
The whole album is notably energetic and jam-packed with fist pumping anthems, catchy hooks, and solos spread throughout; signature traits of any traditional power metal act. The band rides this adrenaline rush throughout the album, the only exception being the instrumental interlude “The Chief and the Blade” and the closer “One for the Ditch”. These songs show a softer and somewhat more melodic side to the band. Those two tracks aside, this album never lets up, and in a way lives up to its name, as the material is decidedly heavy and aggressive. Production is very good indeed, with each instrument shining brightly and clearly. The tracks flow together nicely the way they should, albeit with little variation from the power metal assault that is 3 Inches of Blood.
The vocals are not for everyone. Vocalist Cam Pipes has a delivery similar to Bobby Blitz from Overkill. His rough almost raspy vocals are pretty high pitched and are somewhat of an acquired taste. Surprisingly enough, Pipes shows some good range in his singing, as he can go from a high pitched yell, to a dark sounding low growl in seconds. Vocals aside, the band fails to expand their sound, electing instead to draw from the wells of their power metal influences. This can be somewhat of a problem, as the tracks seem to run into each other and show little variation in sound. If you’re not a fan of power metal, stay away, as this band is in no way shape or form progressive.
If you are fan of the genre, this album is sure to please. While certainly not the most varied release this year and perhaps bit overdone, it is a good effort nonetheless, and stands as my personal favorite from these guys. Truly, Long Live Heavy Metal.