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An irregular feature, in which we ponder the trappings and the suits of an album from our promo shelf.

The band: 3 Inches of Blood The album: Fire Up the Blades Observe:

What caught our eye: The blades! There are many. There are also maces, arrowheads, and flails. All of which serve to indicate that 3 Inches of Blood does not, under any circumstances, fuck around. Also noteworthy: the jewel case sports a sticker (not pictured) teasing three songs no audiophile can live without: “The Goatriders Horde,” “Night Marauders,” and “Forest King.”

Digging a little deeper: The Vancouver metal troupe’s sophomore release features a Roadrunner Records PSA on the inside flap: “STOP THE MADNESS. DRUGS ARE NO FUN. DRUGS ENDANGER THE LIFE AND HAPPINESS OF MILLIONS. IT MUST STOP. WE APPEAL IN PARTICULAR TO THE YOUTH OF TODAY. STOP THE MADNESS. THERE ARE BETTER THINGS IN LIFE.” Wusses. Taste rating: 3/10 (insufficiently distasteful). Despite the impressive selection of daggers, cudgels, broadswords, &c., the presentation itself is rather static. Could the blades in question actually draw blood? Are they indeed “fired up”? And, come to think of it: Is three inches of blood really that much? The answer to all three is a resounding “meh.”

Will “Judging a Disc” exclusively lampoon derivative metal groups? No. But it’s pretty easy.