Sword - Metalized (GWR Records) 1987
1. "F.T.W." (3:38)
Ever heard the expression, "they just don't write 'em like that any more?" Well, that is certainly the case with Sword's "Metalized". Back in '87 I was working at a record store in Rochester, NY when this album showed up in the 'just in' bins. I took a chance and bought a copy for myself. Upon the very first listen I thought Sword were a top notch heavy metal band and that record dominated my turn table for a long time. To this day, I still think that this disc is top notch and has withstood the test of time quite well. Perhaps Sword sound a tad like vintage Judas Priest, but for the most part they are just real heavy metal that is unpolluted by any other influences. No pop, no glam, no thrash, nothing but killer, aggressive vocals, screaming guitar solos, power chords, cannon-like drums, memorable hooks, and lyrics that leave you guessing. "Children of Heaven", "Stoned Again", "Outta Control" and "Evil Spell" all come to mind immediately as favorites, but "Metalized" is a solid slab of molten metal from beginning to end.
1. Sweet Dreams (5:08)
2. The Trouble Is (3:35)
3. Land of the Brave (5:28)
4. Back Off (3:53)
5. Prepare to Die (2:58)
6. Caught in the Act (4:09)
7. Until Death Do Us Part (3:36)
8. The Threat (4:10)
9. Life on the Sharp Edge (4:44)
10. State of Shock (3:44)
"Sweet Dreams" is the sophomore release from Canadian metal band Sword and was originally released in 1988. Their sound can easily be described as heavy metal, though that description has lost it's meaning over time. Their sound was similar to many traditional heavy metal bands from the mid-1980's, combining the sounds of the NWOBHM with a distinctive North American character, not unlike Armored Saint, Saint, Omen or early Savatage. The band's 1986 debut was chock full of hook-laden, memorable heavy metal and was sonically driven by a huge drums sound and buzzing guitars. With "Sweet Dreams" the band's style doesn't change much at all. They still have the catchy songs, biting riffs, razor sharp solos and Rick Hughes charismatic vocals. His voice is like a cross between Dee Snider's singing and Rob Halford's siren-screams. The title track is simply one of the band's finest moment. The mid-paced song is driven by a heavy riff and catchy vocal melodies. Follow-up "Trouble Is" brings the tempo up slightly and has a thumpin' bass line. A few songs, such as "Caught in the Act" and "State of Shock", touch on American power/speed metal, not unlike early Metal Church. "State of Shock" is not a Ted Nugent cover, though that would have been cool. The song has more of a Judas Priest meets Motorhead vibe. So overall, the band continues to crank out their own brand of traditional heavy metal. The biggest difference from their debut is the recording is much crisper and the guitars cut through moreso than the drums.