The Sword have been a band I have loved for years. They put out great music and have an amazing live show, as documented here. Before this I had never reviewed one of their albums though. This was an oversight I had to rectify, so here we go.
First off, before we begin, I have to make a few comments on the vinyl itself (it’s beautiful), but more so the album cover photography. I am a car guy and so a band will get my attention by putting a car on the cover. But if you put a famous Bonneville Salt Flats race car on there with a name like Bombshell Betty then you really want me to notice. Mix in an ominous sky, a lightning bolt and some snowy looking salt and you have got me hooked. The snow effect on the Salt Flats almost gives the appearance of the car sitting on a cloud. This is a really cool cover. The front has a side view of the car, and the back has a front view of the car. Really cool indeed.
Prelude – A quick little instrumental to cleanse the palette.
Deadly Nightshade – I get elements of The Sheepdogs early that quickly morph into Ozzy era Sabbath mixed with Mountain.
Twilight Sunrise – If you like your fuzz mixed with a tiny bit of feedback and intensity, this is the song for you. The subtle key work just barely peeks it’s head out in this one. It’s a little nervous to show itself fully. Just warming up for what is to come.
The Wild Sky – A mellow drum beat begins this instrumental number and then about a minute in the drums pound, the dual guitar threat wails and some spacey keys kick out the jams. Really cool number.
Intermezzo – This instrumental synth song has sort of a Styx feel to it. More like InterMr.Roboto.
Sea of Green – I get elements of a few bands here. Early 80’s April Wine, and early on an 80’s ballad feel. Don’t get the impression this is a cheesy 80’s sapfest though. This one has a cool groove and amazing instrumentation. It morphs into a heavier beast that just keeps growing, ready to devour Tokyo. The fuzzy guitars, smashing drums, the background vocals, and the soaring synths really set this one off.
Nocturne – Believe it or not fellow Canadians, but I get a Gowan feel from this instrumental. I know a certain strange animal from Hamilton that would love to get her bony little alien fingers on this one.
One more glance at this gorgeous vinyl before I flip it over.
Don’t get Too Comfortable – Great drumming and amazing guitar work dominate this one. The mix of fuzzy and clean guitar work really do it for me. The keys are subtle but welcomed here too.
Used Future – If Billy Gibbons and the boys swung through a Florida swamp and did an impromptu recording session with Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1973, this song may have been the result.
Come And Gone – A Floyd-esque mellow high.
Book Of Thoth – This song isn’t fucking around. It wants you to out of your Lazy Boy and shake your ass. The fuzzy guitar and the vocals rule. Very Clutch like in a really good way.
Brown Mountain – If you like the guitar work in Journey’s Wheel in The Sky, you will like this instrumental.
Reprise – Just like the title says, this song goes back to the beginning of Prelude. Then you flip the record over and it’s an endless loop of greatness.
This is a band that has grown people. the early on, stoner dudes will never like them anymore. Not unless they do a Age Of Winters 2. These superfans want The Sword to quit the dad rock bullshit and just play what they want to hear. The band has evolved though. They mix in more synth, more 70’s/80’s elements and deeper lyrical content. I like the old, I like the new. I like anything this band has done and this is no exception.