Saturday, 14 May 2011

CD Review: Advance And Vanquish, by 3 Inches Of Blood (2004)

With harmony-obsessed duelling guitars straight from Iron Maiden, high-pitched vocals straight from Judas Priest, and a muscle-brained, warrior attitude straight from Manowar, Canadian metal band 3 Inches Of Blood lives or dies according to how much innovation can be augmented onto the obvious large doses of derivation.

And on the band's second album Advance And Vanquish, there is unfortunately precious little innovation going on. After nicely setting the table with Fear On The Bridge and Deadly Sinners, the rest of the album is too much of the too familiar, stuck on one speed (fast) and one tone. And does it ever go on. Thirteen tracks are a good five too many, the back end of the CD disintegrating into large doses of quantity as the quality steadily seeps away.

But at least there are a couple of tracks to enjoy: Fear On The Bridge deserves to be on a much better album, 3 Inches Of Blood pulling together all their elements and adding perfect precision and a memorable melody, with challenging changes of pace that are pulled off with aplomb. Not quite as good but still notable is Deadly Sinners, a more straightforward song riding on a well-executed classic metal riff.

On Advance And Vanquish 3 Inches Of Blood give the impression of being driven more by a passion for metal enjoyment than the desire to write and invent original material. They execute well, but just like impressive cheerleaders, they need to accept the role of saluting others from the sidelines.


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

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

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

Average: 7.08

Produced and Recorded by Neil Kernon.
Mixed by Colin Richardson.

All Ace Black Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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