3 Inches of Blood, Akimbo, Hell Promise, I Am the Thorn, Witchburn
June 29, 2007
El Corazon  
Better Than: Trying to stay true


3 Inches of Blood, Friday at El Corazon

Metal does, in fact ,rule. Need proof?


3 Inches of Blood, Akimbo, Hell Promise, I Am the Thorn, Witchburn
June 29, 2007
El Corazon 
Better Than: Trying to stay true to old school metal by listening to the scratched copy of Judas Priest's British Steel that you stole from your dad in junior high.

Northwest metal is alive and well, and ready to kick your fucking ass. The proof came in the form of a face melting show last night at El Corazon. 3 Inches of Blood headlined and brought out tunes from their new release Fire Up the Blades. Along with them came a slew of local acts that very well could be the next big thing in metal.

The first act, Witchburn, reminded me of one thing: There are not enough women in metal. With vocals, lead guitar, and bass all provided by exceptionally talented (and yes, exceptionally sexy) women, Witchburn are a band Seattle should be seeing more of. They did say this was their first show, so we can't exactly see any less of them. When the black-dreadlocked guitarist traded her axe for a violin for their final song, the idea of seeing what else this band is capable of became even more attractive.


Next up was I Am the Thorn. It doesn't get any more local than this. The vocalist is also a member of the security team at El Corazon and was right back on duty after their set. They played a more hardcore-sounding style, with the growling vocal style as opposed to the soaring vocals of classic metal. Not bad, and maybe with a few more shows, I Am the Thorn could become a regular openng act for metal bands coming through town.

Hell Promise followed, and played pretty much the same thing as I Am the Thorn. The bigges difference is that they played longer.

The three-man crew of Akimbo took the stage as the last band before the headliner. A five-band show can sometimes seem like a lot, but each crew worked fast to get the set-ups done and each act started in a timely manner. Akimbo's set, while the longest of the openers, seemed the shortest. Musically, everything was very tight, and I'd be curious to see a show with them as the top act, just to see if things change more. The nature of the three piece kept the guys stoic, so rather than jumping around,  they each stood in place, banging their substantially-haired heads.

While there was only one Viking-masked fan that I saw, the boiling sea of people who came out for 3 Inches of Blood was a far cry difference from the previous show I saw at El Corazon.


Devil horns up all night, the growl and howl of Jamie Hooper and Cam Pipes, chord progressions right out of Iron Maiden. Damn, it was beautiful. They mixed things up with songs from Advance and Vanquish and Fire Up the Blades, transitioning with ease from song to song like band that just spent two years on the road. Which they should because they are.

Pipes has the metal vocal thing down. Not only that but he does look like a medieval Viking, ready to rape, plunder, ravish, ravage, and burn everything he sees. There are moments when the two combined voices sound like the same voice, both high and low at the same time. It'a a great sound that many bands would accomplish with effects pedals or programming. Old-school like they are, 3IOB do everything live.

The dual guitar attack of Shane Clark and Justin Hagberg shredded away all night, bringing to mind, again, Iron Maiden live albums and the kind of shit you wish Metallica still played. Kick ass.

They didn't even break for their encore. They just played straight through. It's fitting of thier attitude. A we just want to rock, why stop until we melt your face, blow your eardrums, and send you home deaf and mute.

Metal,baby. Gotta love it.



Personal Bias:
You mean you need me to tell you that metal rules, again? Fuck off, I've said enough.

Random detail: During the first two sets, I saw a bushy-haired gentleman wearing a Shania Twain Tour t-shirt. I thought, "Wow, that is the least metal thing I've seen all night. Even less metal than the sorority girl-types that will walk outside after the show and freeze." The next time I saw this guy, he was on stage, rocking out as the guitarist in Akimbo. Lesson learned. Don't judge one's metalness by the shirt they wear but by the rock in their heart.

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