Battle Metal With Bite

The Joiners is filled to the brim with hordes of people complete with plastic swords- the telltale sign of the love/hate genre of battle metal. However, headliners 3 Inches Of Blood do manage to bridge the gap between battle metal and more mainstream subgenres and they've never sounded better.

The band play with a new-found tightness that was lacking from previous shows I have attended and the difference it makes is astonishing. From a band that always seemed afraid of the stage, 3 Inches Of Blood have erupted into a band that is both enjoyable to watch and brilliant to listen to live. Altogether, the music seems far more focussed and dynamic and altogether far more energetic. The crowd goes wild as the band power through their set list and the blistering wave of metal goes down a treat with all those in attendance tonight.

Cam Pipes' falsetto voice brings back memories of the golden gods of metal, and combined with Jamie Hooper's snarling vocals, it offers a two-pronged attack that provides everyone at the Joiners with a vocal style they enjoy.

Each song played garners huge cheers from the assembled crowd and the band responds by putting their all into each and every battle cry and spiralling riff that resonates from the stage. New song "Night Marauders" reveals a much more revved up version of their previous work complete with fluid tempo changes that appear to happen effortlessly.

The band play a variety of tracks from their previous releases with highlights appearing in the form of pirate-themed song "Fear of the Bridge" and "Ride, Dark Horse Ride" from their first album and brand new track "Forest King" that shows off the more mature sound that can be expected from the new album. Of course, it wouldn't be a 3 Inches Of Blood show without "Deadly Sinners".

Judging from the live show Southampton is treated tonight, the new 3 Inches of Blood album, 'Fire Up The Blades', is going to be a stunner when it is released on June 26th.