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THE SWORD (Warp Riders) LP/CD

So this is the third album by The Sword. And once again the quartet gave the style they play a little correction. You do not get that immediately when opening instrumental 'Acheron/Unearthing the Orb' starts psychedelically just to switch and serve you a classic meal of Metal that reminds of the friends of Metallica at times. The guys swing the Metal-club again later on in songs like the instrumental 'Astraea’s Dream' and the second part of 'Chronomancer', which also comes up with a great doom-riff. This way the band builds a bridge to the older albums. 'Tres Brujas' on the other side delivers some fine Rock for those to stand with legs wide, somewhere inbetween Monster Magnet, Queens Of The Stone Age, Metallica and Thin Lizzy, and this with a definite hit potential. Really, that song enters your ears and stays there. And I have to make clear that this new direction fits the not actually pretty voice of singer J.D. Cronise damn good. It seems like The Sword see it that way as well.

A lot of the songs on this album go in a similar direction without matching the earcandy-power of 'Tres Brujas', though 'The Chronomancer I: Hubris' could enter the same region if it was not for the length of 7 minutes and the really varied arrangement that makes it a bit harder to get at first. But especially in the vocal department there are some melodies to stick in your ear. 'The Warp Riders' is another song in that direction. A swinging riff and some Hammond Organ enter Lawless lands which makes me think of Five Horse Johnson at times. A lot more swinging Rock and references can be found in the other big candidate for a hit called 'Nigth City', that is once again equipped with a great hookline, as well as the closing track '(The Nigth The Sky Cried) Tears Of Fire'. This album delivers a nice variety of heavy rocking music and shows a new side to The Sword. In my opinion the band finally matches all the fuss that was made about them earlier in their career. I really enjoyed this album.

(Thorsten Frahling)

www.myspace.com/thesword

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