The Porcelain Throne: 3 Inches of Blood

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The throne is occupied again, this time thanks to another submission from Xan. With some (hopefully good) major life events happening here for the flusher of poor logic, I may take a little longer to get your submissions posted, but please keep them coming! 

Galloping, catchy, bad-ass riffs calling upon Iron Maiden? Check. Falsetto that would make Rob Halford and King Diamond smile in approval? Check. Poser stomping lyrics that cover topics such as killing orcs, killing fools who get in the way of killing orcs, and killing people while playing ice hockey? Check. All of these components are the essence of 3 Inches of Blood. The band is always able to sate my appetite for riff-oriented heavy metal, the likes of which only Visigoth and Enforcer have been able to come close to sating. I discovered this band through the video game Brutal Legend – a game featuring several of their songs, along with about fifty other metal bands. One of the defining features of the band is Cam Pipes’ falsetto. Pipes has masterful control of high soaring cries of magical, masterful, majestic majesty.

3 Inches of Blood was formed by Jamie Hooper, Sunny Dhak, and Bobby Froese, and Rich and Geoff Trawick in Vancouver. Cam Pipes joined the band slightly later, around the time of the first EP. By the time they released their second album, both Pipes and Hooper were the only remaining members. The lineup more-or-less stayed consistent since 2004 until Hooper left the band in 2008 and Ash Pearson joined as the drummer in 2007. 3IOB are absolute masters of the riff, which can be seen throughout their entire careers. With the sad announcement on June 2, 2015  that the band was going to be disbanding, I could think of no better way to celebrate the legacy of one of my favorite bands than by listening to their entire discography and induct them into the Porcelain Throne.

Battlecry Under a Wintersun (2002)

3IOB’s first full-length album establishes them as a force to be reckoned with. Though the production is far from grandiose, the music speaks for itself. Songs like “Heir to the Chaos Throne” and “Skeletal Onslaught” have riffs that get stuck in my head for days at a time. “Destroy the Orcs” is an instant classic that you will quickly learn and sing along to. It tells a simple story of a man’s revenge against a band of orcs who raided and killed his family. “Balls of Ice” is an example of the quintessential galloping riff. In addition, there aren’t very many songs that I can think of where you can have lines like, “Balls, balls, balls, balls,” and not have the music suck. Battlecry established 3IOB’s place in metal (though they did have a pretty gnarly EP before this). Their next release would secure them a glorious crown of heavy metal glory.


Advance and Vanquish (2004)

Advance and Vanquish is quite possibly my favorite heavy metal release in the last fifteen years. The band steps up their game on all fronts on this album. The production is noticeably less muddy, the riffs are catchier, the songwriting has improved immensely, the guitar tones sound driving and powerful, and Pipes’ vocals are charged with energy and are set to explode. This album is absolutely armed to the teeth with amazing songs. “Deadly Sinners” is perhaps 3IOB’s most well-known track. Even after reading the lyrics, the only story I can attain from it is WE’RE KILLING POSERS – exactly how it should be. “Premonition of Pain” is my favorite song on this album. It tells the story of a soothsayer who has a vision of a coming army that will destroy the kingdom. He informs the king, who doesn’t believe him. The army attacks and the soothsayer laughs at the king as he is presumably killed by the invading tyrant. The last song that I’ll highlight from this album is “Axes of Evil”. Everything about this song is fantastic. The solo and riffs are extremely memorable and catchy. It also contains one of my favorite lines of all time, which is, “Bloody raw Lucifer meat.” In typical 3IOB fashion, this song is about a hero who goes to claim the axes of evil to stop an invading force.


Fire Up the Blades (2007)

This album is very similar to Advance and Vanquish in many ways. The catchy riffs and combination of falsetto and harsh vocals continue. Pipes seems to have an even larger range, and some of his vocals are shouted, which can be seen in songs like “The Goatriders Horde”. Hooper’s vocals have increased significantly, no longer sounding as screechy, and have more power behind them. Fire is more or less a more refined Advance without as many memorable songs. This album seems to have a different feeling than Advance, sounding darker and more serious. Advance sounded like the journey of a bunch of drunken warriors slaying dillholes, whereas this album has much more of a “staunch warriors fighting back the hordes of chaos” feel. It is much thrashier, perhaps demonstrated best by songs like “Demon’s Blade”.


Here Waits Thy Doom (2009)

This is the only album by 3IOB that I don’t listen to with regularity. While there are some killer tunes in here such as “Rock in Hell” and “Silent Killer”, many of the songs feel lackluster and uninspired. This album sounds very similar to Fire Up the Blades in riff and vocal styling. Some of the songs on this album are significantly longer than songs on previous albums. One fourth of the album is comprised of nearly seven-minute long tracks. Overall, there isn’t much to say about this album other than it is similar to Fire Up the Blades but lacks the memorability that I expect of 3IOB.


Long Live Heavy Metal (2012)

This album is a total shift from Here Waits Thy Doom. This album absolutely slays from beginning to end and brings back some much needed life into 3IOB. “Leather Lord” would be my preferred soundtrack for most things, with excellent riffs and an infectious chorus. “Metal Woman” has the most dope of riffs and a great chorus and “My Sword Will Not Sleep” has an epic chorus. “Leave it on the Ice” is a song about knocking a busta’s teeth out whilst playing hockey. “Look Out” is a wonderful tribute song to Ronnie James Dio – the King of Metal, and probably has the best solo on the album. Closer “Men of Fortune”, (the last song with vocals at any rate) is a perfect album finisher. Perfect riffs, catchy choruses, and amazing use of a bridge. This album is an absolute masterpiece and is, in my opinion, on level with Advance and Vanquish. This album is a must buy.

3 Inches of Blood have had a great discography and truly do a service to the genre of heavy metal. With the monoliths of majesty that are Advance and Vanquish and Long Live Heavy Metal, I wouldn’t be surprised if people look back and hail 3 Inches of Blood as legends in twenty years. I can only hope that the disbanded members work projects that will live up to their legacy. Until that time arrives, rejoice in the glory that is 3 Inches of Blood.

Thank you Xan for this rowdy throne occupant! As always, check The Official Porcelain Throne Guidelines and help me fill up the throne!

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  • RustyShackleford

    Fucking love Fire Up the Blades/Advance and Vanquish. I didn’t spend a lot of time with the last one so I’m definitely gonna go back to it now.

  • The W.

    KILL THE ORCS SLAY THE ORCS DESTROY THE ORCS!

  • Mother Shabubu III 12 BRICKS

    God of the Cold White Silence >>

  • Spear

    I only ever listened to Fire Up the Blades. Hell of an album, though.

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    Brutal Legend>>>>>>>>>>> my introduction to the band as well.
    Apart from Advance and Vanguish, which I loved, I haven’t really listened to anynof their albums in full.

    • I learned about a lot of new bands from that game. I played it when I was still a metal baby. Skeletonwitch was one of my favorite finds.

      • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

        I wasn’t a newcomer to metal then but it was gateway to many bands for me too. Mostly I listened to some giants, maybe one obscjre band and Finnish bands before that.

    • My friend discovered them I think it was with the Tony Hawk Underground 2 binge 😛

  • Brent Hinds

    Wow, I think Brann, Bill, and Troy are really disappointed in me for saying that I hate fucking heavy metal. They just shook their heads at me and walked back into the practice room and started speed picking on the thickest of distortion and playing blast beats similar to some of the earlier Mastodon and Lethargy shit. I shed a tear and caught up with Lars a little bit after I got one of Jeff’s Heineken’s out of his grave. Lars was very supportive of my recent statement surprisingly. Lars came out of the closet too, saying that he actually hates heavy metal as well. He said his love for Motorhead, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, and Thin Lizzy were all a front. He said “Brent, I just want to surf and play rockabilly”. My eyes opened wide like a majestic doe staring at the high beams of a pick up truck. I said “Lars, I love you”. Lars said, “Brent, I love you too”. We kissed and decided to move away from here, and get a trailer on the beach and sing and play mandolins by a beach camp fire. God, do I hate fucking heavy metal.

    http://i1201.photobucket.com/albums/bb347/lizzieulrich/Lars%20Ulrich%20-%2011/08.jpg

    • Dagon

      Don’t leave me BRENT.

      It’s funny that this statement came out today considering something I wrote recently. Lol.

    • Óðinn
    • DCLXVI

      BRENT….I think that the TOILET OV HELL is the PERFECT venue for you to announce that you’re still in Mastodon, but tomorrow you’ll have left Mastodon

    • Pretentious is Kvlt O)))

      0/10 tryhard points. Decibel writers just had a collective heart attack.

  • The Battle Born NDN

    I’m glad I got to see them live.

  • When I was a young poser, my best friend introduced me to 3 Inches of Blood and I said that I didn’t like the vocals.

    Now, I like a lot of merol.

    I will remedy that.

    Thanks, Xan! For another majestic poser killing induction, I raise my blackberry juice for ya!

    • The vocals are definitely love them or hate them. I raise my pomegranate juice for you!

      • HAIL!

        • Brent Hinds

          I’m going to get this tattoo on the other part of my face.

    • Maik Beninton™

      ‘I don’t like that vocal style.’
      Is what my dad said to me when I showed him Periphery. 🙁

      • Shrimp in a Pizza Box™

        Your father is a good man.

        • Maik Beninton™

          At least he likes Linkin Park.

          • Shrimp in a Pizza Box™


            I guess we can’t all be perfect.

          • Maik Beninton™

            lol, he’s not into heavy metal, I guess he enjoys some stuff like grandpa metal but he listens to rock mostly, he got into The Black Keys recently, and every time I get into the car with him, he’s jamming one of their albums, I don’t mind but it’s not really my jam.

          • Herr Schmitty

            Yeah; the Black Keys are one of those bands I feel like I should like; they’re fairly creative, their lyrics/singing isn’t bad, their guitar playing pretty good… and I just feel like the music appeals to me less than the sum of its parts.

          • their first few albums were guitar rock & blues. their later albums are electronic/pop. so weird…

          • Sir Tapir the Based™

            Maybe their guitarist actually hates blues?

          • and/or LOVES money

          • Maik Beninton™

            It’s just another band trying different sounds.

          • I loathe that band : /

          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            Wait… we share an opinion? Is this how the world comes to an end?

          • Herr Schmitty

            At the end of the day, so do I. When I listen to one part of their songs at a time (guitar, vocals, etc.) it doesn’t seem like bad music.

            The songs as wholes, though, I really don’t enjoy.

          • Maik Beninton™

            I like how they made an album that sounds like it was released in the 60’s.

  • Scrimm

    Sorry, tried again but I really HATE that dude’s voice.

    • Brent Hinds

      I’m a really good singer bro.

      • RustyShackleford

        Not live you aren’t *SHOTS FIRED*

      • Scrimm

        Better than that guy that’s for sure.

    • EsusMoose

      I like deadly sinners and a few other songs but that voice is one I have a very hard time getting over

      • I can definitely see that. I’m a person who has missed out on many good bands (I.E. Overkill and most of some of Exodus’ albums) because I can’t stand the vocals.

        • Scrimm

          Same if I don’t like the vocals I usually can’t get into something at all.

          • I’ve been able to overcome it with a couple bands but it is always depressing to find a band with amazing music but then the vocalist sucks. I love the 3 Inches of Blood vocalist as I really enjoy ridiculous falsetto but I also recognize that a ton of people would find that off putting.

          • Scrimm

            Rush is the only band that comes to mind I’ve been able to do that with. Scratch that, Cirith Ungol grew on me too.

          • Cirith Ungol’s vocals are tasty.

          • Scrimm

            I definitely can’t say that but I dig the band a lot.

          • Brent Hinds

            I used to love pretending to love Rush.

          • Rush is too heavy for ya. Go listen country or dad rock or something.

          • Brent Hinds

            Check out my real band. We like to get our surf on.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ciGLtC0yA0

          • Brent Hinds

            I’m a good singer.

          • Óðinn

            That song is actually pretty good.

          • KJM

            I’ll be doing a lot of pretending in about 5 hours.

          • Herr Schmitty

            Dude, have a blast. Also: They’re playing at the Garden tonight? What the hell is that going to sound like? Not sure what the acoustics will be like, that’s a pretty big building.

          • KJM

            I’ve seen ’em there twice and it’s sounded ok. The only thing I won’t like is waiting for the bus during a t-storm.

          • more beer

            It could be worse. Thunder storms here tend to have rather large hail.

          • Brent Hinds
          • more beer

            You have a fun show tonight. I`m heading out in a while to see Jungle Rot. Some friends got me guest listed. I never turn down a free show.

          • G String Full Of Smegma Cheese

            The only thing good to ever come out of Kenosha, WI!

          • more beer

            Ha ha ha! My friends from Chicago have know them for a really long time. So we are gonna go down to Colorado Springs early so we can all hang out.

          • more beer

            By the way the user name change made me laugh!

          • G String Full Of Smegma Cheese

            Hehe it’s been a few days, so it was about time for a switchup.

          • That’s one of the bands that I was able to get into even though I wasn’t keen on the vocals.

          • I think it isn’t bad his vocal performance. It’s just matter of taste, to me.

          • Definitely. His vocals performance isn’t bad, the dude can sing. It is definitely just preference.

          • G String Full Of Smegma Cheese

            That perfectly sums up Cock And Ball Torture for me. The band’s music is good, but the vocalist literally sounds like hot, sloppy diarrhea.

          • KJM

            It’s a huge obstacle for me when it comes to most Black or Death Metal.

          • Vocals are a huge pet peev of mine. If they are lacking in any way it kills the vibe for me.

          • G String Full Of Smegma Cheese

            We need more metal vocalists who sound like IceJJfish and William Hung!

          • G String Full Of Smegma Cheese
          • Scrimm

            Impetigo is badass.

          • Beefhammer McPubies XIVIII

            And every vocalist should sound like that!

          • Scrimm

            Try Tombstones. Same guy.

          • Beefhammer McPubies XIVIII

            Heard ’em, but I’d have to listen to more later.

    • Dagon

      I think I’m in the same boat.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Amen.

    • Óðinn

      Yeah, I tolerated 3 Inches of Blood when they had a second vocalist (Jamie Hooper) to take the edge off Cam Pipes’ annoying Power Metal vocals. But when Jamie Hooper left, it really turned 3 Inches of Blood into just another Speed/Power Metal band with annoying falsetto vocals. They would have sounded much better had Cam Pipes left rather than Jamie Hooper.

      • Scrimm

        Agreed. There is a lot of talent in the band from what I’ve heard.

  • InfinityOfThoughts

    I feel like an asshole. Ive loved 3IOB for a long time…but never saw them live. Not that one person could have changed the band’s future but still…

  • Disgustache

    Reading all your descriptions of this band then hitting play on the video.

    https://media0.giphy.com/media/2YnCDDa2V7uLe/200.gif

  • I would love to hear vocal only tracks of this. The singing is over the top.

  • loved the write-up, Based @DecayingReverie:disqus!
    jammed a few of these in college, definitely for riff-lovers out there

  • G String Full Of Smegma Cheese

    Good writeup! A friend of mine saw them years back and said it was one of the best shows he’s been to.

  • Iz it possible to Flush a Toilet? Mai Gahd.

    • Brent Hinds

      I love to flush my pee.

      • G String Full Of Smegma Cheese

        I like to sink my terds with my pee.

  • john

    I unabashedly love 3 Inches of Blood. It started slowly, as I had trouble getting used to the super high vocals…. But then I listened, repeatedly, over and over, to Long Live Heavy Metal, during my 5000+ mile round trip of the Canadian Maritimes. Old school in the extreme.

  • Óðinn

    Falsetto vocals all pretty much sound the same, and are usually terrible with very few exceptions. Metal needs to progress beyond the boring sameness of Power Metal falsetto vocals.

  • Celtic Frosty

    Um…Here Waits Thy Doom is fucking awesome, and I’ll fight you.

  • Óðinn

    Jamie Hooper update. He bought a pretty cool bike shop in Vancouver.

    http://theradavist.com/2015/01/shop-visit-super-champion/#1
    http://superchampionshop.org/category/blog/