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The Sword - Apocryphon Award winner

The Sword
Apocryphon
by Eldad "Blacknasa" Stainbook at 25 October 2012, 1:43 AM

For me every new Stoner Metal album is a celebration, I got into Stoner by mistakenly listening to KYUSS's masterpiece “Welcome to Sky Valley” when I was having a new tattoo back then in 99. Since then I was venturing into the Stoner Metal realm, often discovering many amazing bands like the semi Gods CLUTCH, Hell raising SLEEP  and the mind blowing HIGH ON FIRE, I did stray to some Stoner extremities like FIFE HORSE JOHNSON and many others however in my essence I’m a Stoner lover (please don’t confuse Stoner with Doom). For me the best THE SWORD album is “Gods Of The Earth”. Don’t get me wrong, the preceding album “Wrap Riders” was good but “Gods Of The Earth”really created in me the respect for the rhythm abilities of the band.

I do hear and read many reviews that states that THE SWORD are copy cats of many bands like BLACK SABBATH and even METALLICA, however I will say that all the chefs are copy cats, they all use the same ingredients however for some chefs the food comes out tasting better. Same goes with THE SWORD, they take many ingredients, mix them together and they do it pretty good.

After receiving the album, by mistake I read the promotion document that comes with it and I was really surprised to see that the production was made by J. Robbins that produced some CLUTCH albums; surely it has raised my expectations from the album in front of me. In Stoner music there are two major vocals branches, the low level, sometimes deep, voice patterns like of John Garcia's among others and the Ozzy type of iron vocals. I never really liked the Ozzy's pattern however THE SWORD's J. D. Cronise or maybe the production team and engineers were able to find the right pitches in order to mix the riffing with the vocals in a superb fashion.

The first song of the album “The Veil Of Isis” immediately reminded me that THE SWORD are masters in the art of Stoner riffing, the song incorporates great rhythms, riffs, drum work and great production, something that will be notable all throughout the album. “Cloak Of Feathers” just reminded me  once again how much I love the THE SWORD song openings. “Cloak Of Feathers” is a classic Stoner Metal track, using all classic ingredients of this sub-genre. “The Hidden Masters” shows that THE SWORD can also produce classic Doom aside to the usual Stoner stuff. The song starts with a classic bass riff followed by cool snare drumming and mellow guitar riffing, all changes to a traditional Doom based rhythm. The best song no doubt and upcoming epic is “Apocryphon“ that starts with a retro techno games effects that very fast change into a massive main riff, one of the best and catchy I have heard, all songs are classic and Epic Stoner Metal songs.

Overall the album is great, production is superb and sound engineering is very good, this is a must have album for Stoner Metal fan, other style fans like classic Heavy Metal will probably enjoy the album as well.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Veil of Isis
2. Cloak of Feathers
3. Arcane Montane
4. The Hidden Masters
5. Dying Earth
6. Execrator
7. Seven Sisters
8. Hawks and Serpents
9. Eyes of the Stormwitch
10. Apocryphon
Lineup:
Bryan Richie- Bass
Kyle Shutt- Guitars
J. D. Cronise- Vocals, Guitars
Santiago Vela III- Drums
Record Label: Napalm Records
     


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