3 Inches of Blood
Advance and Vanquish
3 Inches of Blood takes it back to late-‘70s Britain, a time when “metal” was all about harmonized guitar licks, overly processed guitar tones, drums buried deep in the mix and lots of medieval melodies. Advance and Vanquish even has the ridiculous song titles: “Deadly Sinners,” “Dominion of Deceit,” Wykydtron,” “Swordmaster,” “Axes of Evil,” “The Phantom of the Crimson Cloak,” and so on.
Corniness aside, these guys rock out. The aforementioned “Dominion of Deceit” is a crushing beast of thrash metal, with galloping, Iron Maiden-style rhythm guitars, dizzying lead guitars and a brief reprise from Cam’s over-the-top, annoying vocals; he calms it down a bit for this track, letting his amazing band have the spotlight. The guitarists are excellent riff constructors, coming up with some jaw-dropping stuff from tracks 1 to 13. The drummer is finally given some face time on the sweet “Premonition of Pain,” which opens with a stomping beat that would make a 25 year old Lars Ulrich nod in approval. The drummer also delves into the land of bizarre time changes on this track, a skill that he demonstrates sparingly, but effectively, throughout the album.
Advance and Vanquish is a pretty solid album of old school melodic thrash metal. The musicianship is absolutely incredible. Unfortunately, the band comes up with some really creative and destructive stuff only to have the awful Cam vomit all over everything with his embarrassing vocals. Simply put, this is a great record, tainted by bad vocals.
Roadrunner Records: http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com