Lets hope no maggots out there pick up "Fire Up The Blades" based solely on the fact that it was produced by Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison - that is unless they're ready to kneel at the throne of King Diamond. Remaining as ridiculous and over the top as ever, 3 Inches Of Blood once again put the proverbial themes of a Dungeons & Dragons game to work overtop of some rather tasty 80's thrash and the vaunted NWOBHM.
Ahh yes, battle hymns, demons, goats, swords, it's pretty much all here and instrumentally it is all rather on point. Even when the band take a slightly Southern rock detour on tracks like "The Great Hall Of Feasting". But much like Dragonforce and the countless others that came before them and wrote the rulebook; it's hard to take the band seriously when the vocals come off like an meth-addled Muppet spouting Conan fan-fiction.
Still, some stunning guitar work, impeccable drumming and overall astute musicianship do much to plead the bands case. As does their restraint from going power metal batshit with instrumental masturbation. But with vocals so ridiculous only a mother could love them, it will take a certain breed to continue firing up these blades. That said, if you want your Excalibur replica to "Rust In Peace', then your quest has reached its end.
(3 / 5)