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Blacksword - The Sword Accurst Award winner

The Sword Accurst
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 21 November 2010, 2:11 PM

Inspired by great tales written by various writers as Michael Moorcock, Clack Ashton Smith and David C.Smith, the rather new Russian glory of BLACKSWORD, revealed fictional epos of might, heroism and valor in the name of Heavy Metal. With 80's influences of IRON MAIDEN, NWOBHM and MANOWAR in their blood, this last summer the band delivered their debut release of “The Sword Accurst”. Brought up to become raw, BLACKSWORD unravelled semi-tech Heavy Metal while mixing it with the once ruling US Metal machine. You can say that BLACKSWORD really did the ‘Go West’ thing almost as their ARIA comrades did many years before them.

Even I though I heard this kind of bands as BLACKSWORD, it is difficult to give up the rhythms of the classic Metal years. The galloping riffages, melodic guitar / bass channels, banshee screaming vocals and wild drumming, all forged with the codes of tradition, yet with a few upgraded shifting, are BLACKSWORD's answer to modern Metal. To prove their epic point, BLACKSWORD composed hits as “Stormbringer” (the band’s previous name), “Sword Arm”, “The March”, “Hovering Plague” and the NWOBHM instrumental “Wild Horse”. In addition, the rawness of the album's sound, produced by Ivan The Viking & Alexander Avdeev while the mixing & mastering were handled by Andrew Sekachyov, made me shiver at first listen because with all the modernized productions, and even the old school like ones, this type of sound production was nearly lost because of today's ‘clean’ standards.

However, with the band’s classic Metal music and impressive techniques, I could help but notice that even though they chose to undertake their style with a raw edged sound, there were some issues concerning the mixing & mastering that withheld a few aspects from the album. I think that the overall production work was incomplete as this is not the full listening experience. If I can’t, or anyone for that matter, hear every single channel on its whole, “The Sword Accurst” wasn’t finished.

The talented BLACKSWORD’s “The Sword Accurst” is a good debut for a Heavy Metal career. Gazing through the eyes of the 80's will surely take this band far, although on their future productions they must pay attention to every single detail. Their sound is divine and its rawness is crude and it should be spread out in full.

4 Star Rating

  1. Sword Arm
  2. The March
  3. Wild Horse
  4. The Predatory Divine
  5. Hovering Plague
  6. Wistful Gaze
  7. Stormbringer  
  8. Elric’s Pride
Sergey Konev - Vocals
Alex "Lunatic Asylum" Avdeev - Guitar
Artyom Omelenchuk - Guitar
Ivan The Viking - Bass, Acoustic Guitar
Vyacheslav Aparin - Drums
Record Label: Echoes Of Crom Records


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Edited 03 June 2023

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