3 Inches of Blood: Battlecry Under a Wintersun (2009)

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3 Inches of Blood: Battlecry Under a Wintersun (2009)
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3 Inches of Blood: Battlecry Under a Wintersun
Heavy Metal, Power Metal
Minion Music/Sonic Unyon (2009), Teenage Rampage
March 22nd, 2002 / 2009
Release length: 36:55
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Some people may be unaware that the band 3 Inches Of Blood had two releases prior to signing to Roadrunner Records. The releases were an EP entitled Sect Of The White Worm, as well as Battlecry Under A Winter Sun. Well, the latter has been reissued, and it contains four tracks (not all five for some reason) from the Sect Of The White Worm EP release as bonus material.

Anyone who may be familiar with the material, or happened to search for “Destroy The Orcs” on youtube and came across an alternate version, will be aware that their first full length sounded rather…bad. However, the blame is clearly not to fall on the band, but rather the production. The music itself sounds great, except for the acoustic track “Journey To The Promiseland” which seems rather low in comparison to the rest of the album, and is also rather bland compared to the possibilities the band could do.

They also incorporated “gang” vocals on the album. While this isn’t a bad thing, once again the production quality is what falters it severely. Same goes with all the vocals. The higher and longer falsetto vocals, noticable especially in the songs “Destroy The Orcs” and “Balls Of Ice”, just don’t sound real at all, and the normal vocals are clearly recorded a bit too low and are a little hard to hear. The track “Ride Darkhorse, Ride” includes some gutteral vocals, but unless you’re paying attention, you’ll think your stomach was just rumbling, as they are recorded so low, it blends in as part of the music, or white noise from your surroundings.

So, the album itself sounds rather mediocre due to the recording quality. But what about these bonus tracks that are included? Well, here we have a bit of a switch. On the four bonus tracks, the vocals are louder then the music, and music itself sounds kind of muffled. If only these two issues could have been resolved, the tracks would have sounded perfect as far as the recording aspects go.

Musically, you can really hear the power metal aspect from the bonus tracks, especially on “Sunrise Over The Fjords”, which slows down at the end and actually has singing. The other tracks are pretty much the same, minus the singing of course, and are simply amazing. Songs like “Onward To Valhalla” and “Tonight We Rejoice” show a different side of 3 Inches Of Blood that would make metal heads who dismiss this band as a joke keep their mouths shut.

Basically, this is a collectable album reissued so the fans can see where the band came from. Even though the album itself sound rather bad due to faulty production on the vocals, the music itself is great, and the bonus tracks are perhaps the best part of the whole release. This one is at least worth a once through, if you can stand the often annoying, rather digital falsetto vocals.

Initial Pressing:
01. Ride Darkhorse, Ride – 3:26
02. Destroy The Orcs – 2:13
03. Headwaters Of The River of Blood – 3:03
04. Heir To The Chaos Throne – 3:42
05. Skeletal Onslaught – 3:48
06. Journey To The Promiseland – 2:26
07. Lady Deathwish – 3:44
08. Curse Of The Lighthouse Keeper – 3:12
09. Blazing Fires Of Evermore – 3:16
10. Hall Of Heroes – 4:21
11. Balls Of Ice – 3:44

2009 Reissue:
12. Onward To Valhalla – 3:29 (bonus track)
13. Conquerors Of The Northern Sphere – 2:24 (bonus track)
14. Tonight We Rejoice – 2:40 (bonus track)
15. Sunrise Over The Fjords – 3:44 (bonus track)

Overall Score: 3/10


Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.