Wednesday, July 11, 2012

3 Inches Of Blood Concert Review!!

Hey guys, it's finally time for my review of Monday night's 3 Inches of Blood concert at The Roosevelt Hotel! Apologies for the delay, but I had video upload issues earlier, and I had some personal stuff going on today. I was slightly late, but you could tell it was packed just from the fact that the merchandise tables were set up in the foyer before you actually entered the bar itself! Similarly to the Dayglo Abortions show last summer, the tables bordering the floor were understandably moved, as the attendance for this show was very large, easily the biggest for a Rosie show in over a year from what I can tell! That said, how'd the bands do?

First up was Battle For The Blood winners Winkstinger, and earning the right to open this show must have helped them put things into first gear, as most people I talked to said they sounded better than usual! I'll say that they sounded a bit tighter and a bit more sober, but their extreme intensity came through as well as you'd expect! However, things looked a bit different on Monday, as Winkstinger introduced Sativa Rose guitarist Anthony Orazietti to their lineup, replacing Jason Ladouceur. A public statement never came out for why Jason left, but it looks like it happened at some point in May, and with Winkstinger playing as a quartet for their June gigs, Anthony was likely added late last month. While Jason will be missed (hopefully he gets in a new band soon), Anthony fit right in with Winkstinger for their short (though high impact) set, and it was good to see him on stage again following Sativa Rose's ongoing absence! Another new element of Winkstinger's set: covers, and not just their Otis Redding instrumental that generally opens their set. The guys busted out covers of Pantera's "Mouth For War" and Lamb of God's "Redneck" (Free Randy Blythe!) that sounded very good for their style of metal, and I'm curious to hear more covers when they next play a longer set!

Everything else was on form or better from what I usually expect from a Winkstinger concert, with Alan Wells' unique screaming vocals tearing through the crowd, and Jesse Cook was stellar as expected on guitar for songs like "Where'd We Go Wrong" and a set ending new original, but on the whole, this was a nice debut for Winkstinger's new lineup, and hopefully things only get better and heavier from here for them!

Next up Monday night was local melodic death metal quintet The Bear Hunters, and they pumped out a dependably heavy set of originals for the growing number of fans at The Rosie that night! Compared to the last time I saw them live (two weeks ago opening for Hallows Die), not a lot changed, but on originals like "Succumb To Eternity", "Deception", and "Bloodthirst", they hopefully impressed the populace and made some new fans! Justin Lam's bass work was as solid as ever, as was Mitch Sirie & Josh Stephney's shredding guitar work, while Nik Deubel's growling seemed to be a notch more aggressive, possibly owing to the bands that they were opening for! Honestly, my only major gripe with their set was some sort of issue involving feedback with the guitar amps, as part way during their set, it actually got slightly painful at points to hear, but that was corrected. If you enjoy melodic death metal, The Bear Hunters delivered that in spades, and they knew to play as brutally as possible for the occasion!

Third on the bill was North Carolina death metal quintet Wretched (no "The" needed), and when an out of town band who isn't headlining a concert can get calls for an encore, you know they did something right! They unleashed a huge dose of energy on the crowd on Monday with hard hitting technical death metal originals, with some thrash flourishes, and activity on the floor definitely grew a lot for Wretched's set! Lots of their praise definitely should go to Adam Cody for his intense vocal style and stage presence, even jumping into the crowd a couple times to help start some pits, and on songs like "Imminent Growth" & "Deplorable Miscaluclations", they brutalized their local fans, and seemed to enjoy every second of it! My only major issue is that their lengthy instrumental (I think it was called "The Exodus of Autonomy") seemed like too long of a stretch in between their hard hitting fast paced songs with vocals, but their talent was present throughout, especially from guitarists Steven Funderburk & John Vail. It was awesome to see the local fans give Wretched such a deservingly great reception, and hopefully they devastate a local audience again in the future!

And finally was the main attraction, Vancouver power metal standouts 3 Inches of Blood, and the best way to compare the crowd was to combine the intense moshing and activity of the Dayglo Abortions with the herd of cows density from Kittie's Ypres Metal Fest set, but with a band of this talent and notoriety, I can see why we were unhinged! The guys played songs from all over their career, like "Metal Woman", "Lords of Change", and "Battles & Brotherhood", and they never relented on some excellently played riffs and melodies! Now, I admit still not being high on Cam Pipes' vocals, but his ability to sing in a falsetto that well for the whole set deserves props, and I actually like Justin Hagberg's harsh vocals better than Jamie Hooper's, so that worked out well personally! He and Shane Clark tore up some great solos and riffs on Monday night, and though he was sorta off to the side for their whole set, it was great to see the excellent Byron Stroud live on bass! It was quite an experience to see 3IOB live, and any band whose music can lead to crowd surfers getting caught in ceiling fans must be doing something right! Their mix of power metal and more aggressive subgenres has took them very far, and it's awesome to see them back in town. Anyone there should definitely hope 3 Inches of Blood will be back down the road!

Overall, this was an intense and very entertaining concert, and kudos to J.D. Pearce for bringing this package of bands here on Monday night! Same for Dirk & Shane from Sykotyk Rampage for helping with sound, they did a solid job! If this is any indication, J.D.'s next show (Anvil at The Canadian on the 25th) will be just as big, if not bigger, so stay tuned for updates on that! I took lots of photos at the show, so check them all out at this link or via our Facebook page, where we've also posted a "Tag Yourself" crowd photo (they're back!), so if you see yourself in this crowd shot, click here and tag away! And yes, I got videos, so here's Winkstinger's new lineup playing "Where'd We Go Wrong", The Bear Hunters playing "Collapse The Sun", Wretched unleashing their song "Birthing Sloth", and 3 Inches of Blood playing their very heavy song "4,000 Torches"!

That's all for now, but keep an eye out for a possible new news post later today! Thanks everyone!

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