3 Inches of Blood are like Dungeons and Dragons. They are a band whose lyrics, concepts and artwork appeals to “Nerds” or in heavy metal terms; fans of power and symphonic metal. Although they may not be a melodic metal band themselves, 3 Inches of Blood adopt the imagery and style of these fantasy fuelled bands, adding a crushingly brutal approach to the lyrical themes, sounding like what would happen if Satan was having a wrestling match with Rob Halford. With a fitting title of Long Live Heavy Metal, 3 Inches of Blood are back with their best album to date, packed full of catchy, powerful NWOBHM tinged hits that will blow your ear drums wide open.
The razor sharp, driving guitar riffs are what make Long Live Heavy Metal such a great album. Adopting that classical Maiden esque galloping effect as heard in songs like ‘My Sword Will Not Sleep’, ‘Dark Messenger’ and ‘4000 Torches’, 3 Inches of Blood have decided to take a very nostalgic 80’s approach to this new album ensuring that both the old and young generation have something to sink their teeth into and enjoy, and let’s face it when you plug your earphones in and hear the opening riffs of these songs kick in you can’t help but bang your head, throw the horns and have a kick ass time listening to them.
3 Inches of Blood have once again experimented with folk elements in their music, adding two very surreal and atmospheric acoustic, almost ballad like songs to the fray. ‘Chief and the Blade’ and ‘One For the Ditch’ may be somewhat slower and mellower than the rest of the tracks on Long Live Heavy Metal, but this doesn’t necessary mean they are not as good. These two tracks alone really make 3 Inches of Blood Shine, showing their diversity and skill as musicians who broaden their musical horizons beyond just playing heavy metal.
There are moments on this record that will have you thinking….. “Wait a minute. I’m sure I’ve heard that riff before”, and a perfect example of this would be the intro’s of both ‘Storming Juno’ and ‘Look Out’ which most definitely sound like they have been nicked out of Maiden and Priest’s repertoire. If 3 Inches of Blood could broaden their horizons on their next release – trying to stay away from other bands material and really focus on writing something unique and something that will really surprise us then we could be in store for a flawless 3 Inches of Blood album.
There is a saying that is….. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, and while there isn’t anything necessarily wrong with playing lightning fast NWOBHM guitar licks while some guy screams at the top of his lungs over it, it would be nice to see 3 Inches of Blood try something different with their next album. If they don’t change then who cares…… THEY WILL ALWAYS BE BLOODY AWESOME! [8/10]