Sound — 10
Amazing sound, the guitar tone is a bit newer and fresher than "Advance And Vanquish". But in an extremely good way, the good ol' classic style of 3 Inches Of Blood Riffage and Soloing is still here, but with obvious advancement in there talent, Cam is of course in top of his game, providing some of the most killer vocals of the past 20 years or so, Jamie's rough-edged voice still cuts like rusty war-torn blade through your skull (in a good way ). And in terms of guitar works, there is a Big improvement from "Advance And Vanquish", the riffs are more complex and intricate, and the solos are as well, Some of them are just so Imbued with power, like the first one on "Night Marauders" I hear it and just lose control, I want to beat something with a blunt object till it stops moving. The riffs, while "complex and intricately woven", are very melodic, and some are just classic Headbangin riffs, like "The Goatriders Horde". Most any album I listen to that I like, it makes me want to play guitar, then there are albums like Iron Maidens "Powerslave" and Judas Priest's "Painkiller" that just make me want to really play guitar, and not just to play, but to write, to compose, Lyrically and Musically, a feeling of wanting to accomplish something amazing, there aren't many albums that make me feel this, But "Fire Up The Blades" is now one of them!
Lyrics — 10
Excellent! Fantastic stuff, revolving around what seems to be a continuous story, or close to one, they are classic 3 Inches Of Blood Lyrics, They are of strength, war, and glorius battles in a differnt time, They give off a majestic feel and tell of the strenght of long forgotten races like in the song "Forest King" and "Infinite Legions". Some songs though are a bit differnt, "The Hydra's Teeth" is about Jason and the Argonauts. All in all, When you hear these lyrics, try not to lose control and rush into battle before grabbing your swords and axes!
Overall Impression — 10
Amazing, I hold this album as high as I hold some Iron Maiden albums (that's extremely high for me), I couldn't help but have wide smile and headbang while I listened to this album, it makes me feel the power of 10,000 Godlike Warriors in a whole new way! Buy this album, it's simply Amazing, Brutally Powerful, and Overtly Intense!