3 Inches Of Blood Battlecry Under a Winter Sun

Lyrically, Battlecry Under a Winter Sun reeks of power metal, but 3 Inches of Blood sounds more like a Megadeth/Mercyful Fate/Iron Maiden hybrid than a contemporary of Hammerfall. The band's layering of different vocal styles is an intriguing approach - doubled tracks of King Diamond-esque high-pitched wailing with the odd male chorus or demonic growl thrown in. But all throughout, and providing its most modern touch, Battlecry Under a Winter Sun is laced with poisonous throat-lacerating screams that sound like hardcore taken to a new level of intensity. You'd think the variation in vocal styles would keep the album from getting stale, but instead it comes off as formulaic and repetitive. Except for the acoustic interlude at Battlecry's half way mark and the anthemic closer "Balls of Ice," the songs sound just a little too alike. Despite that static quality, 3 Inches of Blood is still pretty fun to listen to, and any one of these songs would fare well on its own at a party. (Independent)