Review: 3 Inches of Blood - Long Live Heavy Metal

 3 Inches of Blood are one of the few bands that have been able to resurrect the classic heavy metal sound in this day and age with a shredding middle-finger pointed to the practicing of breakdowns, electronica and djent and sound genuinely convincing while doing so. I was seriously surprised to discover their debut album Advance and Vanquish was released in 2004 rather than the mid 1980s. Many will say there sound is therefore dated, but when the band receives so much respectability amongst fans of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, you've got to think the band have pretty much accomplished what they aim for and with their position of one of the best modern day traditional heavy metal bands intact, it seems only right for them to come and pummel listeners once more on their fifth album Long Live Heavy Metal.

 Truly, a prime rule of classic form of heavy metal is that if it's not broken, don't fix it and 3 Inches of Blood know this too well and use it to the best of their ability. So once more, Long Live Heavy Metal is jam-packed with maniacal duel-guitar attacks on the likes of My Sword Will Not Sleep and the particularly pulsing performance of Leave it On the Ice, there's also the unmistakable vocal performance of frontman Cam Pipes, sounding akin to a coked up Rob Halford with the piercing nature giving Dark Messenger that extra measure of intensity. That and the rare spout of scream vocals that give Leather Lord and Storming Juno that extra piece of 3IOB's unique strike of twisted venom injected into the already fiery array of flaming aggression.
 The ability to write the perfect heavy metal song is laid down to a tee on this album as well. The band manage to create achieve the verse-chorus-verse-chorus pattern with much ease with the striking opener Metal Woman and Men of Fortune being finest examples of rapid fire riffs and galloping basslines in verses being balanced out by massive choruses with a gripping selection of hooks.
 While this thrashy array of powerfully written heavy metal is the main offering , one stand out moment on the album is the short and sweet closer One For the Ditch, which manages to be one of the most atmospheric songs they've created in it's acoustic led mellowness. In many ways, it is fully epic.
 So, that's all that really needs to be said about this album. If you know about 3 Inches of Blood, I'm pretty confident that you know the sound of traditional heavy metal inside out. This album is certainly made by a group of gentlemen that do and for a genre that has been unchanged since at least 1983 or so, it's sounding as enjoyable and thrilling as ever. Long Live Heavy Metal!!!

3 Inches of Blood's Long Live Heavy Metal is out now via Century Media. The band will tour the UK in May with Goatwhore, Angelus Apatrida and Havok.