Tuesday, November 17, 2015

the Sword : " High Country"

Catching up on some album's I passed over  earlier in the year. The trend in the stoner rock movement must be after you have graduated from Black Sabbath, then it's time to start sounding like Thin Lizzy. This is the conclusion drawn after hearing the opening to the Sword's new album "High Country". The boogie continues with more of a Blue Oyster Cult thing going on for the title track. This is an improvement from the lack luster opener. The more melodic "Tears Like Diamonds" allows the vocal melody to find a better flow , making it one of the album's better songs. It's more original than the first two for sure. They relax into the rising smoke of their bongs on "Mist and Shadow". It's hard to think of these guys as a metal band any more as they are even more rock n roll than say Kyuss. They have dug deep into the early annuls of hard rock as you can hear traces of bands like Electric Rooster and Spirit creeping through the songs.

Their is a weird funk groove to the oddness that is " Seriously Mysterious". This is one of the more original songs on the album, not sure if all the bizarre elements are fused with the most grace , but it is interesting, almost like a collaboration between Lenny Kravitz and Uriah Heap. The instrumental " Suffer No Fools" might rocker than anything else up to this point on the album, but it seems like an extended intro for the song that follows."Early Snow" ambles along a middle ground and aside from brass accents is nothing special. They find a marginally harder groove that works well with the vocal line on "the Dreamthieves". Then the album really begins to find it's self mired down in the same old same old with "Buzzards" attempting to rock out from out of habit than organically.

The put a little more of a stoner stomp into  the chug of "Ghost Eye".  The intro to "Turned to Dust" reminds me a little of "Hells Bells". It shuffles off from this with the vocals laying back behind the restrained riff, giving this one more dynamic range. They retain this more reserved groove with "the Bees of Spring" that closes out the album. The only problem is this is too close to what they did on the song before, so dynamically the impact is diminished and a final minute of rocking is too little to late. The Sword must be more hype than not, while it's not a shabby album , well recorded and preformed, it's a step away from metal, so any end of the year metal lists with this album on it should be held highly suspect I'm rounding it down to a 6.5.

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