Rating:
7.6
3 Inches Of Blood - Fire Up The Blades
26 June 2007


01. Through The Horned Gate
02. Night Marauders
03. The Goatriders Horde
04. Trial Of Champions
05. God Of The Cold White Silence
06. Forest King
07. Demons Blade
08. The Great Hall Of Feasting
09. Infinite Legions
10. Assassins Of The Light
11. Black Spire
12. The Hydra's Teeth
13. Rejoice In The Fires Of Man's Demise
14. Nocturnal Command [Japanese bonus]


Let's face it, having to replace band members can be a career altering pain, but having to replace an entire line-up (save for the vocalists) could have been down-right career ending for what was left of 3 Inches Of Blood, extreme pressure to say the least. Luckily the band managed to remedy this problem with moderate success with the latest offering, "Fire Up The Blades".

One would think that having to replace all the musicians in a band would compromise the bands signature sound - that's not the case here. Pipes & Hooper (the remaining members) made wise choices in assembling a new line-up. We still hear the signature 3 Inches' sound of intensified NWOBHM with tasteful metal core elements thrown in. Performance and production wise the band has made vast improvements with tighter riffs, faster tempos, and thicker, heavier production. Another noteworthy point of the albums overall sound is the how the songs flow seamlessly into one another, making it one of those albums that demands not to be played on shuffle.

After a somewhat forgettable instrumental intro track, we are instantly shown the vocal skill of Jamie Hooper with a blood curdling followed by a charging rhythm which unfolds into a fully pleasing sonic attack. The next track steps it up even further with an absolutely blistering opening 45 seconds, which shows us what exactly Cam Pipes is capable of - taking on a slightly rougher edge to his voice in comparison to earlier material. The track to follow gets even better, and is probably the peak of the album - proving to be an extremely wise choice as the single. The arrangement in this track, 'Trial Of Champions' is perfect, with a cool addition of organs to add a little power into the climax points of the song. After this series of utterly solid tracks the album seems to drop off a bit and becomes inconsistent. The song writing tends to become aimless and meandering, which is not exactly a new problem in the band's sound. Long story short, the good songs are great, the bad songs are anything but memorable.

Although the band has taken a slight backward step in overall song writing despite musicianship improvements, I firmly believe we have yet to see this band at its peak. Perhaps the band chemistry has not fully formed in this new line up, which could be the reason for the lack-lustre song writing, but alas we will just have to wait for the bands 4th installment to see if that's a realistic excuse.

Highlights: 'The Goatriders Horde', 'Trial Of Champions', and 'The Great Hall Of Feasting'.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Band profile: 3 Inches Of Blood
Album: Fire Up The Blades


 


written by Doc Godin | 02.12.2008


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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BoxCar Willy - 17.11.2009 at 18:55  
Being from Canada i have got to listen to them I was going to buy this album but i didn't should I?
Overlord_PT - 17.11.2009 at 19:03  
Written by BoxCar Willy on 17.11.2009 at 18:55

I was going to buy this album but i didn't should I?


thats up to you
Doc Godin - 17.11.2009 at 23:13  
Written by BoxCar Willy on 17.11.2009 at 18:55

Being from Canada i have got to listen to them I was going to buy this album but i didn't should I?

It's definitely worth it I'd say. Checking out their myspace is always a good thing.

It took a while but it grew on me.
wormdrink414 - 14.12.2009 at 09:29  
This is by far their weakest offering. That, of course, isn't saying much seeing as Advance and Here Waits Thy Doom are both masterworks. Then again I don't believe that there are more than two songs on this album that I actually enjoy. There are a bunch of cool riffs but not one song is even nearly as consistent as what is on the other two (major) releases. In other words, I would have probably been discouraged with the band had I bought it when it came out. Luckily though, I suppose, I hadn't even heard of 3 Inches until earlier this year (making this all noob wisdom).
Valentin B - 24.04.2010 at 10:08  
What i don't really get is why you say they have just changed the line-up before this album. they just got a new drummer, everyone else is there since 2004 or 2001 in Pipes's case..
Doc Godin - 24.04.2010 at 11:13  
Written by Valentin B on 24.04.2010 at 10:08

What i don't really get is why you say they have just changed the line-up before this album. they just got a new drummer, everyone else is there since 2004 or 2001 in Pipes's case..

Fire Up The Blades (2007):
Cam Pipes - clean vocals
Jamie Hooper - screaming vocals
Justin Hagberg - guitars
Shane Clark - guitars
Nick Cates - bass
Alexei Rodriguez - drums

Advance And Vanquish (2004):
Cam Pipes - clean vocals
Jamie Hooper - screaming vocals
Sunny Dhak - lead guitar
Bobby Froese - rhythm guitar
Brian Redman - bass
Matt Wood - drums

According to both Wikipedia and the liner notes.
Valentin B - 24.04.2010 at 11:31  
Written by Doc Godin on 24.04.2010 at 11:13

Written by Valentin B on 24.04.2010 at 10:08

What i don't really get is why you say they have just changed the line-up before this album. they just got a new drummer, everyone else is there since 2004 or 2001 in Pipes's case..

Fire Up The Blades (2007):
Cam Pipes - clean vocals
Jamie Hooper - screaming vocals
Justin Hagberg - guitars
Shane Clark - guitars
Nick Cates - bass
Alexei Rodriguez - drums

Advance And Vanquish (2004):
Cam Pipes - clean vocals
Jamie Hooper - screaming vocals
Sunny Dhak - lead guitar
Bobby Froese - rhythm guitar
Brian Redman - bass
Matt Wood - drums

According to both Wikipedia and the liner notes.

whaaaa i didn't know that. shit. well, that might explain why Advance is a far better different album.
soadbyob - 24.04.2010 at 18:37  
Love this album, although yes, Advance and Vanquish is better
wormdrink414 - 19.06.2010 at 05:43  
The riffs are definitely there. It's been growing on me since I posted my last (ugly and convoluted) comment.
wormdrink414 - 21.06.2010 at 03:30  
Definitely Hooper's best performance but certainly not Pipes'. There is clear post-production tampering that went down for Pipes, and that might be why my original response to the album was so negative. FUCK, though. The riffs are excellent. Every living metalhead needs to listen to Trial of Champions and Demons Blade at least 5 times.
Powerslavex - 24.05.2011 at 21:54  
Damn this album is crazy it makes go nuts freakin insane drumming

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