"Fire Up the Blades" (Roadrunner Records; 2007)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

3 Inches of Blood prove they're no flash in the pan with the fiery brilliance of "Fire Up the Blades." This album is what heavy metal is all about.

Once again channeling legends like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, but adding hints of modern extreme here and there to bump things up a bit, "Fire Up the Blades" starts off with a short atmospheric track, just to set the stage, and then explodes with shrieking vocals, fiery leads and galloping riffs that will have you pumping your fist in the air, banging your head furiously and screaming your throat raw as you join the irresistible war cry.

Better produced than the band's previous CD and showing glowing signs of the band's improving talents (both as musicians and songwriters), "Fire Up the Blades" doesn't shy away from the cliches that make heavy metal heavy metal, but instead covet them, understanding their place in the genre, and put them to the very best use possible. I can't imagine any fan of bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Motorhead and the like -- the bands that invented those cliches -- not enjoying "Fire Up the Blades."

The only slightly downside here is the band's Manowar-ish, sword and sorcery lyrics. Although never nearly as bombastic or as pompous as that band's lyrics, it all does get a little old. Thankfully, the music more than makes up for it.

3 Inches of Blood: Cam Pipes - vocals; Shane Clark - guitar;  Jamie Hooper - vocals;  Justin Hagberg - guitar;  Nick Cates - bass; Alexei Rodriguez - drums.

For more information, check out http://www.3inchesofblood.com

"Advance & Vanquish" (Roadrunner Records; 2004)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

"Advance & Vanquish" is a thrilling combination of Iron Maiden riffery, Rob Halford style vocals and songs that race along at a gallop, never seeming to run out of breath. It's old school metal brought into the modern world and, like the warriors on its cover, it kicks a lot of ass.

Vocalists Jamie Hooper and Cam Pipes (I just report it folks, I don't make it up) shriek like rock'n'roll banshees, bringing to mind the work of the aforementioned Halford, Accept's Udo Dirkschneider and Cradle of Filth's Dani Filth, with a little of The Darkness's Justin Hayward thrown in for good measure. The dual guitar attack of  Shane Clark and Justin Hagberg emulates the great old school metal of the past ... but with a little more speed and intensity bringing additional fire to the mix.

Lyrically, the songs are epic tunes with warrior themes, and they're really not anything you haven't heard before. Track #2, however, "Deadly Sinners," is a killer anthem that will having listeners pumping their fists in the air.

Don't let the references to old school metal here confuse you. Even with its nods to veteran metal kings, "Advance and Vanquish" rocks with a modern ferocity. This stuff would kill live and I can't wait to see the band on stage. 

3 Inches of Blood: - Cam Pipes - vocals; Shane Clark - guitar;  Jamie Hooper - vocals;  Justin Hagberg - guitar;  Brian Redman - bass; Matt Wood - drums.

For more information, check out http://www.3inchesofblood.com

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

Back to CD Reviews Home

Back to RoughEdge.com Home

Copyright 2007 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 28 Aug 2022 14:16:30 -0400.