The Sword - Warp Riders (Kemado) 2010
Part 1: The Archer & the Orb
1. Acheron/Unearthing The Orb 3:43
2. Tres Brujas 4:09
3. Arrows In The Dark 4:30
4. The Chronomancer I: Hubris 7:35
5. Lawless Lands 5:09
Part II: The Android & The Sword
6. Astraea's Dream 3:23
7. The Warp Riders 3:57
8. Night City 3:50
9. The Chronomancer II: Nemesis 5:49
10. (The Night The Sky Cried) Tears Of Fire 6:11
The Sword are a band from Austin TX and not to be confused with the classic metal band from Canada, Sword. The Sword are generally held as a doom band, but with "Warp Riders" the band has managed to keep their identity without sounding like a carbon-copy of Black Sabbath, Saint Vitus, and Pentagram. Actually, in my opinion, I'd have a hard time labeling this album doom at all, rather the band has an all-encompassing heavy metal sound that embraces everything from 1970s heavy metal/hard rock to the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and even manages to sneak in some hints of Southern rock and a subtle helping of funk. "The Chronomancer I: Hubris", for instance, is a hook-filled number with drummer Trivett Wingo giving the song a killer swing. At times traces of Lynyrd Skynyrd and "Tres Hombres"-era ZZ Top can be heard, such as in songs like "Lawless Lands", though the darker, doomier tone still keeps the band sounding like themselves. "(The Night Sky Cried) Tears of Fire” combines fantasy and the classic riff rock reminding me of classic Blue Oyster Cult. "Night City", on the other hand has a bit nod to Thin Lizzy. However, despite all the comparisons, The Sword cannot be accused of being a clone of any of them. The influences are just there, creating an interesting, original album that is never boring. Call it doom, call it stoner rock, call it heavy metal. Whatever you label them, fans of classic hard rock and heavy metal should find plenty to please them here.
It's probably also important to note that the album is a sci-fi concept album based on the story of Ereth, an archer from the planet of Acheron who was banished from his tribe. cheron is a planet that has undergone a “tidal lock”, with one side scorched by eternal daylight and the other in “perpetual darkness”. Ereth sets out on a journey to restore equilibrium in his troubled world.
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