Release Date: March 27, 2012
Canada’s 3 Inches of Blood submit to us another installment to their discography, titled Long Live Heavy Metal. This release marks, possibly, the high point of their careers as their best and most important work to date. Since the beginning of their music career, starting with their demo Sect of the White Worm, 3 Inches of Blood created their own mark onto the heavy metal scene. They have trademarked their sound with falsetto and contrasting harsh vocals along with their modern twist on traditional heavy metal, influenced by the likes of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. 2009’s Here Waits Thy Doom received mixed reviews among fans and newcomers alike, as 3 Inches of Blood lost some of their members, as well as some of their original sound. Long Live Heavy Metal looks to change things around.
The band recorded the album at Vogville and Profile studios in Vancouver with producer Terry “Sho” Murray (City of Fire, Exhibitionists), who handles duties on last year’s, Anthems For the Victorious. This marks the first album for new bassist Byron Stroud (City of Fire, ex-Fear Factory, ex-Strapping Young Lad). Stroud became the band’s manager in 2011.
“Metal Woman” starts the album off with an instrumental intro, erupting into a nice falsetto “roar” from vocalist, Cam Pipes. The melody throughout the entire tune consists of mainly the bass and drums, where cameos of miniature guitar solos appear in the brief pauses without vocals. Before the signature guitar solo, Justin Hagberg’s harsh vocals make an entrance to complete the sound that 3 Inches of Blood is known for. For the first song of the album, the band shows they have swayed back in the direction of their roots.
Next up, “My Sword Will Not Sleep” introduces a more melodic tone, combining with the sounds of early heavy metal. Cam’s vocals stay consistently sound, as well as throwing in a few range changes to keep the song interesting. “Leather Lord” is another example of heavy metal greatness, depicting major influences of Priest and Maiden, as mentioned above.
The album takes a bit of a turn from the metal when “Chief of the Blade” picks up. Medieval-like folk instrumentals take control, lasting around two minutes to serve as an introduction to the next track, “Dark Messenger”. “Dark Messenger” can be described as sort of Maiden inspired song, modernized with the trademark vocals and excellent instrumental work from the rest of the band. “Look Out” seeks to up the sound, concentrating on a faster, driven tempo. This change takes a little bit away from the traditional heavy metal, focusing more on a thrash direction.
“4000 Torches” combines many aspects of the previous songs on the album, providing one of the catchiest choruses on the record. A dual solo of the drums and guitar make an interesting appearance as well, adding some variety to the middle section of the album. “Leave It On The Ice” brings out a bit more ferocity from the band, as more of a straightforward and attacking track compared to the others. The instrumental work takes on more of the traditional heavy metal galloping.
“Die For Gold” compares a lot to “Leave It On The Ice”, with a nice heavy rhythm throughout. After a “face-melting” guitar solo from Shane Clark, you end up with another heavy-hitting coda, much like the previous. “Storming Juno” is a very interesting tune indeed, as it provides a deeper contrast between both of the vocalists. As if in conversation or in turns of battle, Pipes and Hagberg follow one another in an interesting series of lyrics. The harsh vocals really make an impact much like “My Sword Will Not Sleep”. After an interesting and well done guitar solo, we reach the last of the album, “Men of Fortune” and “One For The Ditch”.
The last two tracks of the album really show a different side to 3 Inches of Blood in terms of composition and sound. “Men Of Fortune” takes on a nice melodic tune, at a slow tempo. The vocals don’t take on the falsetto tone at all in this song, which in its own is very interesting as that is the trademark of this band. “Men Of Fortune” ends in a nice instrumental, and ominous fashion. This song is the longest of the others on this album, spanning around 7 minutes. “One For The Ditch” ends the album with the start of an acoustic melody, building up in a nice fashion with emphasis from Ash Pearson’s drums and Stroud’s bass. Mainly instrumental, this is the perfect ending to the album, changing up the intensity the previous parts of the album built up.
Overall, this album lives up to the reputation of the band’s previous works in terms of musicianship and style. Although the sound remains quite the same, 3 Inches of Blood have tightened up their game and created an album with enough variety and intensity to keep the listener enthralled throughout the entire piece. Fans of 3 Inches of Blood will love this album for sure, and new fans of heavy metal may take a keen interest as well. It seems that the band will keep their momentum for now, and it doesn’t look like they are letting up anytime soon. Straight up traditional ass-kicking heavy metal with a shot of the extreme. \m/
Favorite Tracks: Chief and the Blade, Dark Messenger, 4000 Torches, Storming Juno