Sunday, October 21, 2012

Melt Down Your Ploughshares

The Sword – Apocryphon

Razor & Tie Recordings – 2012

Muthas, that other little band from Texas, The Sword, is back with another album of crushing awesomeness – Apocryphon.  The band’s previous LP, Warp Riders, was a concept album, but thankfully, the new album is not because concept albums tend to suck ass.  Warp Riders was an exception to this rule because the story was muted and did not get in the way of the music.  Warp Riders did feature a more straight-ahead style of Metal, and Apocryphon continues this trend.  Some elements of Doom remain but The Sword is no longer primarily a Doom band. They have expanded their sound to incorporate many other 70s Hard Rock/Metal conventions. 

Overall, Apocryphon is superior to Warp Riders because of a complete lack of any shitty tracks.  This is one tight, focused album, packed with hooks.  The LP also flows beautifully due to the attention the band paid to sequencing, which is something most bands don’t seem to care about.  Further, the album is the perfect length at ten tracks, totaling forty-four minutes.  This is not some bloated, turgid victim of the CD age, but instead reflects the superior ethos of vinyl. 

 Tracks featuring the The Sword's signature sound include “The Veil of Isis,” “Arcane Montane,” and “Cloak of Feathers.”  All are excellent and should make it into their live set (“The Veil of Isis” already has been performed live.) “Execrator” is an under three minute blast of fury that recalls another The Sword classic, “Fire Lances of the Ancient Hyperzephyrians.” (I just mention this song so I could type it out!)  It’s quite the face-ripper and should get the rivetheads moving in the pit. 

The band has added some interesting keyboard garnishment to some tracks, namely the title cut and “Dying Earth.”  Don’t worry, as these aren’t some fruity, happy, power-metal keyboards, but rather something straight out of a 70s sci-fi film.  They fit the music excellently and really help get across the fantasy and science fiction themes favored by The Sword. Listening to The Sword is akin to finding a big stack of old Weird Tales Magazines and reading the amazing stories of Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith and Jack Vance for the first time.  Their albums are all about fantastic settings, sinister magic, space travel, and post-apocalyptic landscapes. Check out the lyric video for “Apocryphon“ and hear the awesome!

We are well aware here at The Metal Blog of Metal that some denizens of the Metal Universe consider The Sword to be secret hipsters and poseurs, who are either a completely fabricated band, or are only in it for the huge profits.  This is complete bullshit considering that (1) the band has been around for over a decade and (2) there is NO FUCKING MONEY in Metal!   Are you kidding me??  Why should anyone give two shits if a band is fabricated or not, or in it for the money or not, as long as the music is excellent?  If you are one of these TROO METUL RULZ!!! morons, do me a favor and click on the red x in the upper right hand corner of your screen and fuck right off.  You are too dumb to read this blog. 

The Bottom Line:  Do you like the retro sounds of the 70s with a touch of Doom and much rocking?  If so, buy this album and enjoy life.  It’s another superb addition to The Sword’s burgeoning discography and well worth your coin. 


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