By Jason Wellwood
Canada’s traditional metal stalwarts, Three Inches of Blood, return with their fifth album of sword slashing, fist pounding music. There is no doubt that the band’s sound has changed and evolved over the years but their dedication to heavy metal has certainly not. The album starts off with the galloping (and catchy) ‘Metal Woman’, slides into “My Sword Will Not Sleep”, then into “Leather Lord”, leaving you a little breathless as every one of these songs makes you want to attempt singer Cam Pipes’ incredible falsetto while pumping your fist in the air. Thankfully, the band takes a bit of a left turn with the instrumental, folk-y “Chief and the Blade” allowing a brief respite before heading right back into “Dark Messenger” and pummeling you once again. Like 2009’s Here Waits Thy Doom, the orc-ish growls have been minimized allowing Cam Pipes to really shine, and the ‘true’ metal of Three Inches of Blood to come out. It seems that as the band progresses, there music is actually becoming truer to the vision of metal, more NWOBHM than the first two releases would have you suspect. With tracks like “Chief and the Blade” and “Men of Fortune” bringing a more sweeping and (dare I say it?) progressive element to the band and the change of lyrical content for “Storming Juno”, Three Inches of Blood have reached an awesome pinnacle with Long Live Heavy Metal.
Three Inches of Blood have certainly outdone themselves here and grown into the musical powerhouse that many of us knew they could be, and shocked the hell out of detractors who now must eat their words.
Prior to the release of Long Live Heavy Metal, I had the chance to speak with Cam Pipes about life on the road, music and writing. The interview was originally aired on my show Blowing Up The Lakehead (Monday 10pm-1am est on CILU 102.7fm or www.luradio.ca) but you can click on the link below for the audio as well.