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With no more then a reason to kill... - 94%

Feast for the Damned, August 4th, 2019

BEHOLD! After an absolutely horrid debut album, somehow these absolutely underrated and underappreciated musicians managed to put out a record that not only managed to set a new standard for themselves but for most power metal bands around the globe! It's everything that 3 Inches of Blood was intended to be and even more! Harsh vox that not only doesn't take anything away from the songs, but they also add so many extra layers of awesomeness it's unbelievable.

Yes, you heard it right! The harsh vocals (which were the main trait that made the band extra interesting) are actually done correctly! They are incredibly raw yet emotional. When someone mentions power metal the harsh vocals are not the first thing to come in mind obviously, but they complement the absolutely astonishing clean vocals from Cam Pipes so well it's insane. While we are the vocals I must mention that while most power metal lyrics manage to sound silly or simply dumb, these guys managed to hit a sweet spot I didn't even know existed. While the term epic is overused it's the only way I can put it. This kind of heroic and fantastic theme matched with the aforementioned vocals and the riffs make such a good feel and atmosphere to the entire album that you will find yourself constantly headbanging while you chant the lyrics word by word. I must mention the song Premonition of Pain if we are talking about lyrics and vocals since it has probably the strongest vocal performance on the entire album, yet it doesn't get talked about a lot and I would feel bad not mentioning my all-time favorite 3 Inches of Blood song.

The fact that I only talked about the vocals might be misleading, but the reason I did this is that the debut album got absolutely butchered by the poor vocal performance and the mixing. Luckily they managed to turn the mediocre riffage on the debut into something absolutely unbelievable on this record. It's hard to point at an exact song to set an example for the riffs, but if I have to choose I would probably mention the first 2 songs: Fear on the Bridge (Upon The Boiling Sea I) and Deadly Sinners. While the first song starts out with an amazing harsh vocal segment with the galloping riff, it soon turns into something incredibly melodic yet unbelievably aggressive. The entire song goes into a full-on frenzy around the 2-minute mark. While this song had a bunch of amazing riffs Deadly Sinners is the most popular song from the band for a very good reason. The riff here is probably the most catchy one you will find from the band's entire discography, but the chorus just absolutely sets this song as one of the all-time best power metal anthems. Yet not only is the songwriting amazing, but they also play it incredibly too. The drumming on this release doesn't get enough praise. It's a blast to hear the assaulting madness that it unleashes upon your ears with its fast galloping beats that fit into the mix perfectly without overwhelming the other instruments.

They also re-recorded Destroy the Orcs and it is so much better than it was on the debut. Much more powerful thanks to the good production. Since the band got signed to Roadrunner they actually got some people who actually know what they are doing behind the scene with the producing and mixing. Neil Kernon (also worked on Macabre which is my all-time favorite deathgrind band and Nile) and Colin Richardson (Bolt Thrower, Cannibal Corpse, Carcass, Massacra, Massacre, etc.) done such an amazing job with this record that if they weren't working on this I am almost 100% sure this album wouldn't be half as good as it ended up being.

I can count on one hand how many power metal bands managed to put out an album better than this. There is no real problem with the album, but if I want to be nitpicky I could say that the first half of the album (first 7 songs) is a tiny bit more energetic than the rest and I enjoyed them more, but then again, they are all amazing in their own rights with each song having at least 2 or 3 memorable parts. The only song I could call somewhat forgettable is The Phantom of the Crimson Cloak but even that is an overstatement.

Overall this album (as I already said) set a standard for themselves and (in my eyes) for other power metal bands, but sadly these standards were too high for the band and they never managed to make an album as good as this was ever again (but more on that later). If I had to choose my top 5 all-time favorite power metal albums this one would probably be one of the albums that would come to my mind first.

The highlights of the album are Premonition of Pain, Fear on the Bridge (Upon The Boiling Sea I), Destroy the Orcs and Wykydtron.

Advance And Vanquish / Metal The Time - 90%

Sargeantdeath99, September 29th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2004, CD, Roadrunner Records

Advance and Vanquish is the second studio album by Canadian heavy metal band 3 Inches of Blood consisting of Cam Pipes(Vocals), Jamie Hooper(Vocals), Sunny Dhak(Lead Guitar), Bobby Froese(Rhythm Guitar), Brian Redman(Bass) and Matt Wood(Drums). Advance and Vanquish was released on September 28, 2004, and was the bands first release by Roadrunner Records. However it is the only release by the band to feature bassist Brian Redman and drummer Matt Wood, and the last album to with original guitarists Sunny Dhak and Bobby Froese.

3 Inches of Blood have made a massive improvement over Battlecry Under a Wintersun with Advance and Vanquish. For the bands second studio release it is obvious that the production value is significantly better, the band also manage to improve their sound lyrically as well as technically. 3 Inches of Blood drawing inspiration from iconic bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden and fusing that with their love of Dungeons and Dragons. 3 Inches of Blood manage to do something truly spectacular and memorable by creating an iconic sound that will come to define the band, a blending of thrash metal, metalcore and elements of power metal.

Advance and Vanquish make it impossible to pick a favourite track as every track on this album brings something unique to the table, whether it be a epic solo, heavy drums, solid vocals or fantastic writing. Advance and Vanquish had only single released, Deadly Sinners, which I found odd because the band could have very easily released Axes of Evil and Crazy Nights as two more singles. The band manages to set the pace right from the very start of the album with the beginning track, Fear on the Bridge(Upon the Boiling Sea I), it begins with an explosion that sends a wave through you and doesn't stop. This album solidifies itself as a masterpiece through its grueling solos, blasting drums as well as the emotionally charged vocals. While I don't want to dive into each track separately I will however tell you about the two tracks I believe embody Advance and Vanquish, Revenge Is a Vulture and Lord of the Storm. Revenge is a Vulture is an exceptional track. It masters the pace fantastic through the guitars carrying the track and the vocal work from Cam Pipes really manages to keep the listener engaged and interested in the story he is telling. Now Lord of the Storm (Upon the Boiling Sea II) is a track that contains everything a metal track should have, blazing fast guitars, deep powerful drums, and very aggressive vocals. Lord of the Storm is a stand out track fro Jamie Hooper, his unique vocal sound is perfectly meshed with the aggressive guitars, impossible to not head bang.

However instrumentally fantastic the songs may be, that did not stop the 3 Inches of Blood from creating perfect lyrics perfect for destroying orcish horde, slaying a mythical beast or saving a kingdom from its mad king. In my opinion lyrics are just as important as a bands ability to sing or play instruments, as it allows the listener to escape to another realm through their storytelling and 3 Inches of Blood do this just that, truly remarkable.

In closing I would have to say Advance and Vanquish manage to capture the essence of heavy metal, this album is heavy metal. As a whole this album will be regarded as one of the best heavy metal albums ever. A must own for any one who calls themselves a fan of metal.

Horns High Up In Praise - 98%

CHAIRTHROWER, March 12th, 2016
Written based on this version: 2004, CD, Roadrunner Records

Wouldn’t it be cool to bury a “metal” themed time capsule filled with landmark heavy metal albums and mp3’s (including a sustainable battery operated means of playing them of course) along with a scroll describing the treasures within, aimed at far-off, future generations or even other worldly visitors? Well, 3 Inches of Blood’s second release, Advance & Vanquish would certainly get my vote as far as what would be encapsulated. I know, I know, there are simply too many great recordings to choose from. The important thing would be to convey the message through means of the medium. In this case, 3IOB’s classic call to arms style of sharp, relentless riffing and unhinged, bullet swarm guitar solos combined with the vocal onslaught of Cam Pipes and Jaime Hooper would hearken back to metal’s golden age. On Advance & Vanquish, they thoroughly represent what metal is all about: unpretentious, straight-up and passionate music which counters the banality of everyday life. That said, it’s time for me to stop waxing eloquent and get down to business in regards to this killer album which dominated my head space for days on end years ago, and still puts me in the zone every time I re-listen to it.

Right off the bat, what makes Advance & Vanquish memorable and unique among 3IOB’s discography is the buccaneering /swashbuckling trilogy “Upon The Boiling Sea”, of which the first part, “Fear On The Bridge”, opens up the album with the appropriately placed sound of a cannon’s fuse being lit, effortlessly fitting right in with the rest of the tracks. Their lyrical themes range from medieval blood lust (“Deadly Sinners”, “Revenge Is A Vulture”, “Dominion Of Deceit”, “Premonition Of Pain” and “Axes Of Evil) to feudal Japanese lore (“Swordmaster”), to straight up Victorian horror and the foreboding threat of a sentient and revolting military AI in the far future (“Phantom Of The Crimson Cloak”, and “Wykydtron”, respectively). ”Lord Of The Storm”, or “Upon The Boiling Sea II” falls smack in the middle as the 6th song, while the 3rd installment of said misadventure on the high seas, “Isle Of Eternal Despair” seals up the package as the 13th and closing number. It’s worth noting a fourth and final installment is featured on the band’s swansong, Long Live Heavy Metal.

The ultimate fan favorite and most requested song at their shows is without a doubt “Deadly Sinners”, and features a killer song structure as well as one of the most supremely inspiring choruses I’ve ever heard:

“Flash of iron, leather, spikes, and swords!
Mighty warriors with metal on their side!
Enemies of metal, your death is our reward!
Triumphant victory when you bring the steel to life”

Effectively, you can’t get much more “metal” than that! I mean, “Enemies of metal, your death is our reward!” could be interpreted as the penultimate gauntlet thrown in the face of posers the World over. Such a verse was well called for back then and still is today.

Admittedly, Jaime Hooper’s screechy rasp and Cam Pipes’ high pitched screaming is not for everyone. It’s unfortunate how a band’s vocals can easily turn people away without them fully grasping the skill and dexterity of the actual music. Personally, I loved the dual vocalist trade-off and wish it was more prevalent in heavy metal today. Their voices definitely match the intensity of the music. Although Here Waits Thy Doom and Long Live Heavy Metal are still decent albums, I find they don’t hold a candle to their first three albums. The band certainly wasn't the same once Jaime Hooper departed from the band after he damaged his vocal chords (I guess it comes as no surprise considering the rough treatment he put them through).

As for the actual music, the guitar playing here is fantastic: the riffs are tight and razor-sharp while the guitar solos take on many neat twists and turns and convey a feeling of unheralded madness at times, such as on “Revenge Is A Vulture”, “Wykydtron” and “Axes Of Evil”, where a sense of urgent dispatch is mixed into the bridge section as the song moves forward, gaining wicked momentum right until the end. Often the finger-tapping they include in their solos create a highly epic and pyrotechnic effect, such as in the second half of “Premonition of Pain”.

The only song which sounds less metal and more on the rockish side of things is “Crazy Nights”, serving as the requisite anthem celebrating the sowing of wild oats and youthful debauchery. It fits right in with the other songs though and also features some strong, innovative riff construction which instantly made me want to look up the tablature so I could join in the fun (I must admit I lack that gift of playing by ear and must resort to this practice.) Most of 3IOB’s songs are deceivingly complicated to play but tremendously gratifying once you get the hang of it. The main riff to “Phantom of the Crimson Cloak” is an instant ear pleaser and is, along with “Revenge Is a Vulture” and “Axes of Evil”, one of my favorite tracks on the album. “Dominion of Deceit” is possibly the heaviest and most brutal track they've ever recorded, featuring some of their most powerful verses (“As fallen angels we will fight/ Against a king that’s dead and gone/ No second coming for the general of the Weak!!”, with Cam Pipes really going all out on this last word) along with the hardest battering ram style drumming on the album. The whole album is a powerhouse from start to finish without any light moments or peaceful interludes.

The bass playing is tight and locks itself into the song structures but doesn’t stand out on its own too much with the exception of the bridge section of “Wykydtron”, when it paves the way for a cheerful solo worthy of a lunatic by way of its unhinged and wild style. Needless to say, the album could have benefited from a bass solo/intro or two despite Brian Redman's solid contribution. Sadly, he passed away in 2009, leaving the band empty-handed in that department and forever on the look-out for a steady bass player. He was an integral part of the band and also a founding member, along with guitarist Sunny Dhak and Bobby Froese, who eventually moved on to pursue business interests. On Advance & Vanquish, they are all certainly worth their salt and you can feel their passion and commitment to the band on both this album and their debut Battle Cry Under a Winter Sun. Matt Woods on drums provides a pretty ferocious array of patterns and fills while really giving ‘er without ever letting up. 3 Inches of Blood is mainly a guitar band but the rhythm section of the bassist and drummer provide excellent support, allowing this band to fully establish its reputation as a highly respected well-oiled machine.

There is one bonus track, “Quest for the Manticore”. It’s a decent track, but it’s omission from the main release isn’t too much of a big deal. You’ll be provided with ample cannon fodder for your ears with the standard CD, but this song is worth checking out as its similar tone and song structure to Advance & Vanquish makes it a respectable addition to the band’s catalog. Also, those of you who are familiar with Battle Cry under a Winter Sun are well aware they included a reprise of “Destroy The Orcs”, in line with Advance & Vanquish's tone and production level. As for the cover art, it was drawn by the heavy metal album cover legend himself, Ed Repka. Need I say more?

I won’t go as far as saying Advance & Vanquish is one of those timeless releases that get better with age. The important thing is that back in the day it rekindled my passion for straight goods, old-school style metal and I made sure to catch them live wherever and whenever I could. I can accept the fact the band has now disbanded (it was quite a jolt when I heard the news) while still rejoicing in their glory days and giving this album a token listen every now and then for old times’ sake. If you aren’t familiar with Vancouver’s 3 Inches of Blood, I strongly recommend listening to either Advance & Vanquish or Fire up the Blades. They are both chock full of highly energetic, vigorous guitar playing and creative, battle-inspired lyrics. If you can accept the vocals for what they are and simply take in the band’s spirit, you’re in for one hell of a good old fashioned heavy metal experience.

Advancing a bit it seems. - 78%

hells_unicorn, March 4th, 2012

3 Inches Of Blood is a band that a lot of people don’t quite catch the point of, at least as far as what they appear to be going for. The accusations of being a closeted metalcore band who simply dabble in old school methodology are mostly inspired by their being a favorite of many younger hipsters who also listen to the likes of Between The Buried And Me and Trivium, though part of it may also lay in their unorthodox screamer of a vocalist who occasionally comes off like a mixture of King Diamond and Alexi Laiho. But whatever fictitious motives people may hang around these guys’ necks, the actual picture is much closer to a blunt revivalist outfit in a similar mold to that of White Wizzard (albeit a much earlier one) with a modern vocal twist.

No more so is this apparent than in the case of their sophomore effort “Advance And Vanquish”, which largely sticks to the bouncy NWOBHM influences of the debut, but has cleaned up and modernized the production a bit. The result is an album that has a bit more to it, stretching out the songs a bit more and exploring some of the more epic aspects of their Iron Maiden influences, exploiting their proficient lead guitar work a bit more, all while still putting forth a streamlined set of songs that are easy to digest. It’s not terribly surprising to see that this band has amassed a good amount of popularity given that the hooks in play are very effective, in spite of the vocal work probably being impossible for most people to recreate while singing along in their cars.

At its most elaborate and extreme, this album is mostly keen to stick to the archaic aspects of the USPM sound and occasionally some melodeath elements too, while generally avoiding the cliché stream of speed metal influences that tend to dominate European power metal and even some American acts like Kamelot. When hearing “Premonition Of Pain” and “Crazy Nights”, the guitars generally tend to wail away on some rapid pace guitar work while the rhythm section sort of chills in a subdued rock feel that only occasionally picks up to upper-mid paced. And when things do pick up considerably as on “Dominion Of Deceit” or “Isle Of Eternal Despair”, the feel has more of a thrashing, Agent Steel meets Kalmah feel to it. In spite of the vocals generally being 2 dimensional and conjuring up vivid images of a berserker screaming while repeatedly punching himself in the cojones, the progression of music on here is fairly dynamic, though definitely caught within a very obvious and limited niche.

A lot of film sequels or major theatric follow-ups to some previous television series like to use slogans such as bigger and better when promoted, and the same sort of applies to this album in relation to its rather underdeveloped and wanting predecessor. This is the same general format, but with a wider exploration in the songwriting department that proves interesting enough to be worth a serious metal head’s time, even if it means sharing an interest or two with those annoying teenagers who haven’t done their homework on where their sound originated from. It’s sort of like traditional USPM’s answer to the Gothenburg scene, and is often associated with the metalcore scene because said scene began incorporating influences from the famed mid 90s Swedish one. One can play the correlation game until he’s eliminated every band releasing an album after 1992 with an old school sound, or he can just shut up and enjoy something that could have been written before then, but ultimately wasn’t.

12 Inches of Metal! - 77%

Ibanezmancons, August 31st, 2011

I'll never understand why people think these guys are a joke. Sure the subjects are ridiculously cliche by today's standards, but their extreme Lord of the Rings-like metal is all part of the fun. 3 Inches of Blood seem less like a joke, and more like a bunch of talented musicians just trying to give us a good time through the power of fantastical themes and hammering riffs. They don't appear to take themselves too seriously, or atleast I hope not. 'Advance and Vanquish' gave '3IoB' their breakthrough, just after after a great deal of us heard the spectacular demo for 'Deadly Sinners' on Tony Hawks Underground 2.

Some metalheads will regret buying this album straight away, plainly because of the vocalists. Personally, I love the combo of the Painkiller-esque lead singer and the second, harsher vocalist. Go ahead, shout 'metalcore', but this guy really just seems to fit alongside the viciousness of the music. I've always enjoyed the way the clean singer trades verses with the second vocalist, and then how the two will occasionally share a final verse or chorus for extra emphasis. Some songs suffer by having the second guy scream the first verse, but when he follows the first singer, the effect is rather excellent.

Musically, the band seems like what would happen if you put a modern thrash metal like Municipal Waste, the old school goodness of Judas Priest, a bunch of viking-pirate hybrids and a metalcore screamer in the same heavy metal milkshake. It's very organic for modern metal, and there's no hint of the producer dicking about on your usual digital audio workstation removing the soul from the original recordings. Each instrument is captured perfectly, and mixed together with an equalling expertise. This is no frills production, just how it should be with heavy metal - the music should do the talking.

Most of the riffwork on this album is brilliant. It's not often a relatively new band can win me over in this department, but 'Fear On The Bridge' and 'Deadly Sinners' were two of the first few tracks that inspired me to learn the guitar, and will always mean a lot to me. Unfortunately, whilst the riffs are top-notch, they don't always combine to make the best songs. In fact, after hearing the best: the above mentioned tracks, 'Revenge Is A Vulture', 'Lord Of The Storm', 'Wykydtron', 'Crazy Nights' and possibly 'Isle of Eternal Despair', I'm really not that interested in anything else the album has to offer. Everything else just seems stale in comparison, not offering any competition riff-wise or holding any memorable vocals like those highlighted. That said, they aren't terrible pieces of music, hence my fairly generous score.

Another small criticism I've heard from a few people is the difference between the demo version of 'Deadly Sinners' and the album version. I remember everyone raving about it on T.H.U.G. 2's soundtrack, but being disappointed by the sped up and less raw appearance of the song on 'Advance...'. In all honesty, I used to prefer the demo, but having listened to the final product for years now, it's obvious how the band's overall style demanded the increase in tempo, and the production is merely the result of a bigger budget. These days, I think the album version is superior.

The album, on a whole, is impressive stuff, but just seems to run on too long with too much filler for it to be truly essential. But despite some issues with consistency, atleast half of this album will have you screaming along whilst air guitaring in your bedroom, eager to buy their next album. Which I honestly don't know why I haven't got yet.

Pure Candian Metal - 95%

Slasher666, June 28th, 2011

Canadian warriors 3 Inches of Blood really packed a punch into this album, a punch so powerful that it really gives a huge hint to what Canadian metal sounds like. The heroes from the small city of Vancouver, British Columbia have probably made the best album they've ever released. Why? It has a creative edge, has songs that make you want to mosh all day long, and has lyrics that are unique and pure metal.

First off, the vocals (by vocalist Cam Pipes) are really high pitched, which is a good thing because it reminds me of some good ol' Mercyful Fate or King Diamond. It's like a perfect combo of high pitched vocals and some gritty yet clean growls from secondary vocalist Jamie Hooper. Pipes hits high and Hooper hits low, the duo really making the music sound powerful as they take turns singing the verses and then sing together. Of course I could never really compare anyone to the mighty King Diamond, but this is an exception. This is a whole new spectrum in terms of vocals. It's very unique!

The guitars are shred-worthy and are just heavenly, carrying out the songs and bangs the head that doesn't bang (or somewhere along those lines). The sweet and savory guitar licks and riffs make the songs really addictive and makes you want to listen to them for hours on end. Songs like Swordmaster or Dominion of Deceit get the adrenaline flowing and then songs like Deadly Sinners and Premonition of Pain get the mosh pits started! Long story short, the guitars kick loads of ass! The drums, like the guitars, carry out the songs as well. The beats and blasts are basically the virgin blood on the satanic cake, flawless and well-executed. They also plays along well with the vocals and other instruments. The bass guitar is well done, barely audible but you can hear the rumble.

In conclusion, this album is totally worth buying and you shouldn't miss the opportunity should it cross your path. As a Vancouverite, I am quite proud to be one because of this band. They take the next step up and make some shit that's really productive and satisfying. To make things clear as my final verdict, I dub this album MOSH MATERIAL!

Best Songs: Swordmaster, Wykydtron, Dominion of Deceit, Deadly Sinners, Premonition of Pain, Revenge is a Vulture, Lord of the Storm, Fear on the Bridge, and The Isle of Eternal Despair

Some Great Classic Metal With a -core Touch - 87%

MetalStrikesDown, August 19th, 2009

Well even if you have just dabbled into metal music you probably have at least heard of 3 Inches of Blood, probably heard the song Deadly Sinners. I know this album is now 5 years old and was probably one of the more influential albums that pushed me further into the world of metal. 3 Inches of Blood is a band that I think truthfully wants to play the style of music they are doing, although many critics claim them to be posers. It's easy to say with their lyrical themes; battles, open sea, trolls, Vikings, metal. Do people claim Manowar are posers? No, just an extremely over the top manly band. Now, with all my love of the band there are flaws to be heard.

What is Advance and Vanquish? It's a Heavy/Speed Metal album with godly awesome clean vocals and shitty metalcore screams, courtesy of an extra; this is not needed whatsoever and the album would probably be better if done without. That said, they still have him in the band to this day. Staying true to their roots is what 3 inches of Blood has done. They grew up listening to Iron Maiden and Judas Priest and they are influences in their sound. My favorite song on this album is easily Wykydtron, it is by far the catchiest. It has one damn memorable chorus; "Hey it's a Wykydtron//It's a Wykydtron//Whoa-oh!!" This song is about a monster the human race created to fight wars for them and it escaped captivity only to take over, terrorize, and exterminate the human race. What isn't fucking metal about that? Catchy as AIDS Speed Metal that does have a unique touch with the metalcore style vocals, it's just fun and something to bang your head to. Everything is precise and memorable, the riffs are all good and don't copy their predecessors in the genre. 3 Inches of Blood nailed it on this album.

I think that others just want to call them posers because they can't handle a newer band being just as good as or better than their predecessors. Staying true to metal does seem to be some sort of ploy to gain popularity or kiddy fans. But damn, I don't give a shit because the music is badass and can blow a lot of shit out of the water. Since this album 3 Inches of Blood have released another album named Fire Up the Blades which is in the same vein, just produced differently. I hope they can keep their metal roots and keep writing stories about flesh-eating, human-produced monsters.

Originally written for http://www.metalcrypt.com

It's a very solid release. - 80%

overkill666, March 11th, 2009

Three Inches of Blood is one of those 'love 'em or hate 'em' bands, in my own opinion. There's a lot to love about them, but enough to hate that it makes it hard to listen to them a lot. With a few changes, I'm sure this band could pull a total 180 degree turn. Well, since this is their second full-length output, and we've seen their later material, my own hopes are broken.

'Advance and Vanquish' is musically enjoyable. The riff work is less thrashy, and more groove and power oriented. If I had to compare some of their work to another band, I'd say they sound like a mix of Mastodon and Divine Heresy. To expand on this so you understand my reasoning, Three Inches of Blood has the groove styling of Mastodon, as well as the power and solo styling of Divine Heresy. Everything about Three Inches of Blood is upbeat, there's really nothing slow about them. I do admit they have great music writing skills, as their music does not get overly repetitive or boring. They have replay ability, which is always good. The bands who lack replay ability usually do not get much hype, and when they do it's negative hype. I also like that everything is clearly audible, nothing is muffled or completely trampled in the mix. The great production quality helps a ton, I think a band like this with bad production would probably sound like ass. Throughout this album, you won't really find any awkward moments with the instruments because everything moves in sync with fluid sound.

The one major thing I hate about Three Inches of Blood are the vocals. Cam Pipes uses an attempted falsetto, but it comes off sounding like he tries too hard. It's really annoying after a while, and would be one of the reasons I don't give Three Inches of Blood a spin very often. I think Cam Pipes is very influenced by King Diamond and the likes, and tries to get his vocals to have the same effect that King Diamond has. If that is actually the case, Cam Pipes is failing miserably. The other vocalist, Jamie Hooper, sounds a lot better than Cam Pipes. Though, the only bad thing is that Jamie Hooper would not work as a lead vocalist for Three Inches of Blood. Jamie Hooper uses an over exaggerated scream, which pops into the music at mostly random times. It's kind of funny that Three Inches of Blood has a guy that just stands there on stage, only screaming for about a minute per song. If I were him, I'd get bored. Although Cam Pipes may not be my favorite vocalist out there, but his vocals do fit the music.

Three Inches of Blood is one of those bands that probably caught many of the metalcore fans hopping off the bandwagon, and after hearing this record you can probably understand why. They have a subtle metalcore sound, but it's overpowered by a more groovy power metal output. This band isn't horrible, they are far better than many other bands out there. I'd really like to see what these guys sound like live, hopefully it's as good as their records. This band is recommended to Mastodon and Devine Heresy fans, you'll probably like them.

Fun, but cheesy and forgettable. - 49%

Alcohol, August 16th, 2007

This is almost a comedic album. The vocals are over the top and all the singing is in a high pitched tone. The lyrics are all about slaying dragons and killing "enemies of metal" and a bunch of other stereotypical heavy metal nonsense, and it's all just a fun and cheesy metal ride.

Having said that, the vocals on this album REALLY shit me, which sucks because the riffs are pretty decent!

This album kind of sounds like Iron Maiden but it's twice as fast and the riffs aren't nearly as memorable. The biggest difference though is that Bruce Dickinson is an amazing singer, while these guys are just plain annoying! High pitched metal vocals are great! Rob Halford, Bruce Dickinson, Kelly Carpenter, Tobias Sammet, and a bunch of other metal vocalists are spectacular at high pitched metal vocals! They're convincing, they're powerful, they're epic, and they're hard hitting.

Cam Pipes however, is a name I will never add to that list. People sing along to 3 Inches Of Blood constantly, and while I don't necessarily shun them (because at least 3 Inches Of Blood are decent), I hate the fact that this singer is getting recognition at all. His vocals sound weak as fuck, unnatural, and strained. Just listen to Kelly Carpenter on Outworld's WarCry, and then listen to 3 Inches Of Blood. Kelly Carpenter uses high pitched metal vocals because they're fucking powerful and convincing, and they send shivers down your spine with their raw fury. I don't know what Mr. Pipes is attempting to sound like, but it's shitty. As if his throaty, watery, and forced clean vocals weren't enough, the screamer is terrible. It sounds like they recorded his vocals while he was screaming from another room. Vocally, this album is terrible.

So why does it get a 49% rating then? The riffs are fun man! There is 13 tracks on this CD, and 13 songs on this album. There's no filler or interludes, which is a huge plus for me. The drummer is talented, the guitar riffs are fun, and the solos are typical metal shredfests.

However, this album's worth avoiding. I wouldn't spend money on it, as it's just a cheesy and forgettable album overall. It's not powerful and it doesn't stick with you, it's just fun to laugh with your friends while it's playing when you're drunk. That's about the extent of it's appeal.

Simply put, this kicks ass! - 95%

Satanwolf, July 31st, 2007

I know this has been out for a while but I just got into this band, thanks to a co-worker's recommendation. This is epic fantasy metal, not cheesy Euro pretty-boy metal but of the kind not heard since the demise of the mighty Cirith Ungol, and Lord Weird Slough Feg can be considered a contemporary. But unlike Slough Feg, 3IOB has 2 singers, both of which use very different vocal styles. The clean vocalist must surely be Steve Grimmett's (Grim Reaper) illegitimate offspring, and the other guy employs a raw and raspy metalcore scream seemingly bordering on black metal.

At first listen I thought, "ok, some good music but the clean singer's a little too much at times and the other guy doesn't seems to be little more than a backup singer." By the second listen I thought, "these guys are killer!" And they are. This album is sure to please the oldschool metallers out there. Those who might at first be put off by the vocals, take some time with this. The screamer does quite a few lead parts and the two vocalists work together extremely well. It's no accident, they really sound like they know exactly what they want to do. Great vocal patterns and first rate fantasy and horror lyrics abound.

Musically, this is sure to satisfy Maiden and Priest fans and fans of the bands I've already mentioned. Plenty of lead guitar melodies and excellent soloing here. There aren't any weak songs here so take your pick. Everything is fast-paced and frantic, and you'll feel like you're right there on the battlefiend when you hear songs such as "Destroy the Orcs" and "Axes of Evil." "Dominion of Deceit" is a nice antichristian number while "The Phantom of the Crimson Cloak" is pure horror. The band tackles science fiction on the futuristic "Wykydtron." Perhaps the highlight of the album is the "Upon the Boiling Seas" trilogy. The three songs comprising this trilogy, 'Fear on the Bridge," "Lord of the Storm" and "Isle of Eternal Despair" tell the story of a mad pirate captain who falls victim to the curse of greed. If 3IOB write more material like this, Running Wild could have some competition for the title of pirate-metal champs!

This is the meanest album I've heard in a while. It's strikingly original and just a great album all the way round. I'll definitely be looking to hear more of this band (seems they've revamped the lineup quite a bit for their latest album). Roadrunner should get behind this band and give them a massive push for publicity, for these guys are the future of metal.

Repetition kills this - 44%

Xpert74, March 29th, 2006

3 Inches Of Blood are a very talked-about band right now in the Metal world. They combine the traditional Metal sound of bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden with some modern Metalcore elements (mainly the backing vocals), but for the most part the Metalcore elements take a back seat to the traditional Metal. This makes some people praise them for trying to bring back the glory days of Heavy Metal, but at the same time some ridicule them for not innovating the genre enough, or having Metalcore elements, etc. So what do I feel about all of this?

I think that 3 Inches Of Blood have a hell of a lot of potential. The band certainly sounds like talented musicians, and the songs are catchy enough to sing along to. I also enjoy both vocalist’s styles a lot. So why the 44%? This is basically one song repeated over and over and over with few differences each time it’s played. Deadly Sinners sounds like Swordmaster sounds like Revenge Is A Vulture, etc. All the songs are basically verse-chorus-verse-chorus, extremely melodic, polished Heavy Metal songs with traces of newer things like screams or the very rare blastbeat. None of the songs deviate from this formula at all. I can’t possibly be expected to listen to Iron Maiden’s Invaders 13 times on end, with a couple of screams remixed in. They could’ve at least have a ballad or a Doomish song, or maybe even a song that comes close to Thrash Metal. Just something like that would’ve been nice to break up the monotony of this album. I usually get bored around track 3, and have to turn it off around track 8 or so. This album should not have fucking 13 songs on it! There’s way too much repetitive filler for this album to be very good in any real way. It’s a real shame too, because if the band had spent a little more time in the songwriting department to give each song its own identity, then this could very well be one of the best albums of 2004.

Another thing that drags this album down some is that it’s just…… wayyyy too polished. I mean, I know this isn’t supposed to have raw as shit production, but this production is just way too sterile, with few dynamics. It’s like Painkiller gone bad. Perhaps I wouldn’t notice as much if the songs weren’t so similar, but the production helps to make the songs run into each other even more. Plus the vocals don’t often fit with the music underneath. In that case I guess I do have somewhat of a problem with the Metalcore vocals, but more with how they’re implemented into the songs; not just the presence of the vocals themselves in any way. The music underneath sounds too happy, even as far as Heavy Metal goes. This clashes with the screaming a lot. The riffs are melodic in kind of a modern way, which is probably due to the overpolished production. If these same riffs were presented in a more old-school context, they would probably sound more vicious, but at the same time even more derivative from the older bands, so it’s a lose-lose situation.

After all is said and done, I don’t really recommend this, unless you don’t mind hearing the same song over and over. I haven’t completely forsaken this band though… yet. Let’s hope their next album brings more variety in the songwriting. *crosses fingers*

Highlights: I couldn’t really tell you, as all the songs by themselves are just decent, with nothing really standing out in any positive or negative way. I would personally go with Axes Of Evil, Deadly Sinners and Wykydtron, but then again that probably has to do with the fact that those were the first 3 songs I heard from this album before buying it.

It's totally metal dude!! - 81%

krozza, December 7th, 2004

Just when we thought Roadrunner was making a play to sign the last of the European Metalcore acts, they throw us the proverbial curve ball of the year with the signing of Canadian metallers ‘Three Inches of Blood’. Roadrunner have made some bold moves of late; the signing of Caliban is probably not too surprising, but still encouraging, and the addition of Dutch boys Illdisposed was most unexpected. However, the signing of 3 Inches of Blood is not only their bravest move in quite some time, it is also their most heartening. This has nothing to do with current trends folks – 3 Inches play a modern version of 70’s NWOBHM meets 80’s speed/thrash metal.

Advance and Vanquish is so fucking metal!!! It screams MEEETTAAAALLL!! The cover art, the old school Maiden/Priest-isms, the dumb lyrics and song titles and the over top vocal histrionics are all representative of a band that loves the pure escapist nature of straight up heavy metal as it was in the 80’s. Manowar would be proud of these boys – ‘AaV’ has that classic ‘death to false metal’ feel dripping from every riff. And whilst, the new crowd will scratch their heads in utter confusion at the prospect of hearing this album, be certain that most of the old guard (particularly those who refuse to grow up - like me) will salute the attitude and freshness that this displays in 2004.

The nostalgic ride provided here is an important one, but it’s not the only trick 3 Inches perform. Underneath the high pitched falsetto’s and fight ‘til death lyrical themes, there is some killer riff writing going on – as a result ‘AaV’ has far more depth that you might think for a band that seems to thrive on old-school aesthetics. There’s more going on that straight up novelty here. The Priest-isms are also valid, although musically I tend to think 3 Inches are more ‘Painkiller’ than anything ‘British Steel’. The retro vibe is more vocally inflected than musically anyway - Cam Pipes’ windowpane shattering shrieks may recall the ‘Halford’ vibe also - although it’s not as strong an influence as some might suggest (other than being high pitched Pipes and Halford have little in common style and phrasing wise).

For something so retro inspired - surprisingly, the modern production helps here. For all of its old school values, the ripping guitar mix and overall new millennium sheen that can be achieved nowadays has given ‘AaV’ a tremendously powerful sound. Neil Kernon (Nevermore and Priest among others) knows his shit and with Colin ‘the metal mix king’ Richardson along side, you can be assured that this SOUNDS fucking incredible. As a result, 3 inches retro angle is only partly inferred. This is 80’s metal with a modern production. For want of a better comparison, imagine Violence’s ‘Eternal Nightmare’ with today’s sound.

3 Inches of Blood won’t invoke universal appeal. Pipes’ vocal style will either be loved or loathed (having said that, if current Darkness fans could imagine a more rabid, speed induced Justin Hawkins, then they might find Pipes to their liking). For fans of Priest, Maiden, Accept and anything else 80’s speed/thrash inspired these guys are the shit. It’ll never quite reach the heights of those days, but in a time where metal is an extremely fractured genre, it’s great to hear something as refreshing and as nostalgic as this. It’s totally metal dude!