The Canadian metal band 3 Inches of Blood formed in 2000 in Vancouver, initially performing with only Jamie Hooper on vocals, before the addition of Cam Pipes. Pipes was initially asked to add a some vocals to the band's already recorded demo EP and was welcomed as a permanent member after the results proved to the band's liking.
Their debut album 'Battlecry Under a Winter Sun' was recorded in 2002 on the Teenage Rampage label. This release went by almost unnoticed until the band's UK distribution label decided to put them on as a support slot for a tour with platinum rock band The Darkness. This exposure gained them much critical attention and acclaim in the world of underground metal, and they were signed up by big-label subsidiary Roadrunner Records in 2004.
In 2004, original drummer Geoff Trawick and bassist brother Rich left the band. Matt Wood of Vancouver doom/sludge/noise band Goatsblood, and Brian Redman replaced them. Original guitarists, Sunny Dhak and Bobby Froese left the band shortly after recording in around July of 2004. They were replaced by Justin Hagberg and Shane Clark. Roadrunner put out an advertising blitz, and the track 'Deadly Sinners' from the band's sophomore release 'Advance and Vanquish' appeared on numerous sampler CDs, compilations and even a video game (Tony Hawk's Underground 2) creating a huge press hype for the band that caused their popularity to skyrocket, with a slot on 2005's Road Rage tour gaining them many new fans.
The bands over-the-top lyrical style and high-pitched, Rob Halford-esque vocals, combined with their appearance in official photos, which owes more to modern pop punk fashion and clothing labels such as Atticus, have lead some to dub them as a parody of the classic heavy metal acts they claim to seek to give tribute to. When questioned on this, vocalist Cam Pipes gave the following statement: "Just because we're a bunch of young guys singing about the greatness of heavy metal doesn't mean we're some joke band." Interestingly, when performing live, the band dresses far more in the manner you would expect of a heavy metal band (see Heavy Metal fashion). This is most likely down to the individual choice of the new band members that have joined 3 Inches of Blood on tour, none of whom appeared in the promo photos for Advance and Vanquish.
The band has occasionally (and erroneously) been labelled as a metalcore band. In fact, the band draws far more influence from pre-1985 heavy metal such as Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and other members of the N.W.O.B.H.M. In fact, one of the main tenets of the band's philosophy is that of a reaction to the contemporary popularity of genres such as nu-metal, metalcore and screamo. It is ironic then, that the label to which they are signed is one of the biggest for these genres. This is probably best summed-up in the words of vocalist, Jamie Hooper:
"We're kind of in a weird position, considering the more modern leaning line-up of that label," says Hooper. "We're nu-metal's greatest enemies, so it's a weird juxtaposition for us. But let's just say that we fit in very well with their back catalogue - Annihilator, Pestilence, King Diamond, Suffocation. We're very pleased to be a part of that."
There is often confusion over which of the band's two vocalists performs each style of singing: Cam Pipes sings in falsetto style and Jamie Hooper provides the metalcore-style screams.
'Sect of the White Worm' is the first, self-released, demo EP by 3 Inches of Blood. It was released in April 2001. Their new album, 'Fire Up the Blades' (produced by Joey Jordison of Slipknot), will be released on June 26th.
Tracklist: 1. Onward to Valhalla, 2. Bloody Screams of Despair That Stain the Ice, 3. Conquerers of the Northern Sphere, 4. Tonight We Rejoice, 5. The Sun Rises Over the Fjords.
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