Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Sword – Apocryphon

I’ve always found it amusing how fans expect a band to basically just put out the same album time after time, and just lose their shit when that doesn’t happen.  I don’t really follow that stuff too much, but apparently that happened with “Warp Riders”, the last album put out by The Sword.  I mean, if they had gone all Justin Bieber on us, then yeah, bash away.  But just because they veered away from the sound of the first couple of albums and incorporated some more groove and doom elements is no reason to give up on what was a really good release.  Hell people still like Metallica even after those last two steaming piles of shit they dropped on us.

Sorry fans, but I’m gonna tell you that The Sword have blessed us with “Apocryphon”, it’s pretty fucking awesome, and it grooves like a mother.  I have had this on constant repeat in my car for about 3 weeks now and don’t plan to take it out of rotation anytime soon.  The riffs and grooves that these guys have put down to 1’s and 0’s are really, really good.  So if you’re a fan of this band, it might be time stop trolling the internet, come up out of mom’s basement, and realize that change is good.

One of the things I’ve read about this album is that the song writing has taken a more personal twist, as opposed to previous songs that were all sci-fi and fantasy stuff.  Listening to the tracks and even reading the lyrics, I’m just gonna take someone’s word for that, because I still hear a lot of the previous topics, but then again, maybe JD Cronise has gone all Jedi on us and just incorporated his personal life into the fantasy stuff in such a way that it just subliminally works its way in.  Either way, the lyrical content is entertaining and I think I already said that the music is a monster.

Personal favorites have to be track 3, “Arcane Montane”, which is some pretty heavy music that really swings, and if you know me you know that’s right in my wheel house.  Track 4, “The Hidden Masters”, is also really good.  There are some light, delicate parts right before the heavy comes in and beats you about the head and shoulders in a good way.  “Dying Earth”, the fifth track, also does that light/heavy thing but in a slightly different way.  Those are my favorites but the whole thing is really worth listening to.

I got the deluxe version of this release so there are also some killer live tracks and a fantastic cover of the old ZZ Top number, “Cheap Sunglasses”, which is very well done.  Pretty faithful to the original with just enough little twists to make it their own, which in my opinion is how a cover should be done.  In covering this song you can definitely hear where their bluesier influences come from, which you might expect from a Texas band.

So what should you do?  Check this disc out post haste.  And as always, don’t go in with preconceived ideas of what The Sword should sound like.  As the great George Clinton said, “free your mind and your ass will follow”.


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