Album Reviews, Artists / Bands, Culture, Metal / Hard Rock — February 24, 2013 at 1:07 pm

REVIEW: The Sword – Apocryphon

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  Artist Name: The Sword
Title Name: Apocryphon
Label: Razor & Tie
Reviewed by: Fabio Marraccini

Entering a realm dominated by flagship acts that came before you is never an easy task yet American band The Sword went in all guns blazing into the stoner rock and doom metal forest only to emerge high and mighty. While their style could be easily compared with obvious bands such as Black Sabbath, and less obvious choices as The Sleep, their approach to the genre is bold and creative, ignoring most technological advances, producing a style heavy anchored in the seventies era of groovy, analogue-driven, tube amplifier sound.

Their latest release Apocryphon, the fourth to surface in just under seven years, continues their saga presenting a loose-not-dragged style of doom, stoner and sludge, heavy as hell, creative and exciting.

“The Veil of Isis” opens the gates in the best Sabbath-esque style, while “Cloak of Feathers” blows your mind with magnificently crafted vintage riffs. The first peak of the album is reached with “Arcane Montane” and  “The Hidden Masters”, both gut-wrenching masterpieces of doom that reveal a tight band who delivers what sounds like a live performance on record. Production helps, as there is a significant improvement over their previous albums, but their musicianship and energy really shines through here. Slower grooves follow with “Dying Earth”, the short “Execrator” and “Seven Sisters”, while the album then peaks again onto stoner delight with “Hawks & Serpents” and by this stage the release is already well worth the investment.

“Eyes of the Stormwitch” nods again more obviously to Sabbath, while the bombastic closing tune “Apocryphon” with its space age intro and its down-to-earth riffs and melodies closes the opus with a high note.

The result is a quite consistent work, with less noticeable peaks and valleys than previous efforts, topped by a remarkably clear production, that let the band’s vibe and energy take control of the mixing desk while putting the listener at the sweet spot of a well balanced array of heavy instruments, thus delivering another pearl into the stoner collection of precious stones.

LINKS

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The Sword – Apocryphon

 

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