I picked this up after hearing they played a bad-ass, rockin', Black Sabbath-esque style, something I'm realizing is always a good thing and never bad. It's an odd notion to wanna listen to other bands that sound near identical to your other favorite bands, but I guess that's life for ya. You tend to stick to what you like. You don't order the salmon when you hate fish. Get it got it good.
So right off, no, this record isn't a tour de force of Black Sabbathisms. You can hear the influence, from the tasteful sludginess to the wail of the dude's voice bordering on pure Ozziness. And it's great! I love it! Lately, I've been into the stoner-rock, 70's vibe, musically. That heavy, gut-dropping rock and roll is highly addictive, once you're knee deep in it's flavorful grooves. Yeah, it totally sounds like I just made an accidental confession in pot use. Ain't true, mofo!
Anyway, I'm pretty into that sound, that delicious, vintage rock and roll tone. Honestly, the only other band I like in this weird, weed-fueled sub-genre is Electric Wizard. I've looked up other bands in the same vein, but they all suck. Shitty vocals, guitar riffs almost hitting a happy vibe...it's just not right. Electric Wizard, as is the Sword's first album, really hits that special-pleasure-button of mine. The guitar is high-flying with riffs-galore. The vocals are audible, fuzzed out and super Sabbathy. I guess, really, what I'm trying to say is that I'm liking the bands that sound too much like Black Sabbath, too much like an era now gone. Hey, if you're gonna rip off a band, why not do it better than the actual band?
Plus, the cover art and lyric content is awesome! The damn thing looks like a cross between Conan the Barbarian's sisters' favorite magazine and the front page of a D&D role-playing book. I think I heard the phrase, "spider priests!" in one of the songs, too, making it a winner! Such a fucking winner!
Oh, and as soon as I could, I also picked up this:
Their second, more recent album. I'd try to match this image with the smaller image above, but that's how google images is rollin' tonight. Kinda makes me feel all funny, like things aren't lining up right in the universe. Forgive me?
Review of Above Album: yeah, total crud. To be fair, it's different. Which means it doesn't even come close to their debut, which is weird, and a highly unfair and snap judgement by yours truly. But hey! They seemed to ditch the grooviness for a more modern sound, so it's their fauly. I dunno, I hear a lot of boring riffage going on with total lack of rock and roll. The first album had that punch, that swagger, like Motorhead mingling with the Rolling Stones. To be honest, I'm just sick of metal these days, really. Cookie Monster vocals suck, over-produced earsplosions suck, trying to sound as beyond grind-y and brutal as possible sucks. I'm still confused as to why people like Mastodon so much. Have you actually heard that dude's voice? Like, actually listened to it? Like, seriously?
So I guess that's why I'm so bummed with their second offering. You blew it, guys! I know you're reading this, too. So yeah. You blew it!
But alas, I should probably give it a few more spins before I spin this mother right into my garbage bin. It's like hearing the first Danzig album followed directly by Danzig 5, "Blackacidwhatthefuck?" throwing you for a total mindscrew. The sound that would escape your body would be an eerily silent, astral-projecting cry of despair. Believe you me.
But yes! Check it out! To me, the first album is really cool. And that first album is all this bad bitch needs. Yes.