Monday, 28 January 2013

CD Review: Long Live Heavy Metal, by 3 Inches Of Blood (2012)

Combining Blackmore-inspired solos, Maiden-style harmonies, high-pitched Priest-evoking vocals, Manowar themes, and a honest work ethic all of their own, Canada's 3 Inches Of Blood continue their quest to create the unique by imitating the familiar.

Long Live Heavy Metal, their fifth studio album, is exactly what it says on the can: marginally sophisticated, melody-heavy anthems celebrating metal's glory, not necessarily presenting much that is new but certainly waving the flag for the best of traditions.

Long Live Heavy Metal continues the good work started on 3 Inches Of Blood's two previous releases Fire Up The Blades (2005) and Here Waits Thy Doom (2009), with 10 full compositions plus 2 instrumentals (Chief And The Blade and One For The Ditch) all carrying their weight and often more. The mostly fast-tempo songs offer up a noticeably improved level of professionalism and maturity, including clever solos, interesting transitions, and dynamic delivery, always propelled by Cam Pipes' impassioned vocals.

Three tracks stand out from the rest of the set. Leather Lord is a straight-ahead metal buzz-saw, staccato riff slicing the way for a manic expression of metaldome's majesty, a slow-down preceding a rich instrumental section with full-on Ritchie Blackmore solo shadings followed by an explosion of a finale with Ash Pearson giving his drum set a massive wake-up call.

Dark Messenger is closest to Maiden's sound, a tight coupling of sweet melody with runaway harmonies delivered at a dangerously break-neck yet irresistible speed. Meanwhile Look Out is a commanding tribute to Ronnie James Dio, and features an exuberant 140 seconds of joyously coordinated shredding that demonstrate how far the band has progressed in confident songwriting. The instrumental passage of Look Out is the most prominent, but almost every track on Long Live Heavy Metal features a punchy solo section where Pipes allows guitarists Hagberg and Clark to duel with competing axes.

3 Inches Of Blood also find the time to proudly wave the Canadian flag on tracks like Leave It On The Ice (all about battles in hockey) and Storming Juno (the code name for the beach assigned to the Canadians on D-Day).

Long Live Heavy Metal is the modernization of a loud salute, music unashamedly screaming from the rooftops with the inherent joy of its own genre.


Cam Pipes - Vocals
Justin Hagberg - Guitars
Shane Clark - Guitars
Ash Pearson - Drums
Byron Stroud - Bass (joined after the album was recorded)

Bass on the album by Shustin Hagblark

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Metal Woman - 8
2. My Sword Will Not Sleep - 7
3. Leather Lord - 9
4. Chief And The Blade - 7
5. Dark Messenger - 9
6. Look Out - 9
7. 4000 Torches - 7
8. Leave It On The Ice - 7
9. Die For Gold (Upon The Boiling Sea IV) - 7
10. Storming Juno - 7
11. Men Of Fortune - 8
12. One For The Ditch - 8

Average: 7.75

Produced by Sho Murray and 3 Inches Of Blood.
Engineered by Sho Murray. Mixed and Mastered by Greg Reely.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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