• Axl Rosenberg

200px-3iob-blades-cover.jpgI haven’t really been a fan of 3 Inches of Blood in the past, but Fire Up the Blades certainly suggests that they’re a band worthy of our attention. Produced by Slipknot’s Joey Jordison, the album offers up power metal of the Judas Priest/Painkiller variety, which is to say it features a lot of glass shattering vocals, blistering guitar, and lyrics that fixate on the darkness.

Like a lot of power metal, there’s absolutely no false advertising here; songs entitled “Night Marauders,” “The Goatrider’s Horde,” and “The Great Hall of Feasting” turn out to be about marauders in the night, a horde belonging to someone who rides a goat, and, yes, a large room where people eat. Cam Pipes and Jamie Hooper’s vocals are old-school enough to keep it interesting, though, and in what I can only imagine is an attempt to update the tried-and-true power metal forumla, every song features at least one pretty decent breakdown.

Alas, 3 Inches of Blood, like another popular Roadrunner bearer of the power metal torch, Dragonforce, are best in small doses; the album runs more than an hour, and around the halfway point, it starts to feel a little tiring. Still, that shouldn’t stop you and your friends from utilizing this disc as a the soundtrack for you next trip to Medieval Times.

(three and half horns out of five)


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