The Sword Gods Of The Earth

The Sword Gods Of The Earth
Incredibly prodigious groove rockers the Sword are back with yet another full-length collection of anthemic tunes reminiscent of Black Sabbath’s more eloquent moments, power metal’s soaring choruses and ’70s fuzz rock’s dirty low end rumble. Still resolute in their delivery of mysticism and Dungeons and Dragons similes, the chunky grooves of "The Frost-Giant’s Daughter,” "Fire Lances Of The Ancient Hyperzephyrians” and "Maiden, Mother and Crone” are as flamboyant as their names would indicate. Intense while still laidback and composed in their delivery, each song’s shift between chugging verses and technical bridges warrants comparisons to forward-thinking influences Budgie and Diamond Head. The inclusion of brilliantly placed acoustic passages and dynamics render these not-so-newcomers stoner rock’s Opeth: creative and progressive while still quite able to lay down and allow a particularly strong riff to play out when called for. What’s most impressive though is that while this band continue to release EPs and full-length albums at the pace of KISS’s heyday, they are still getting exponentially better. Finally finding their own bona fide voice, the entirety of Gods Of The Earth may draw from obvious stimulus but has an overriding originality to it that incites both awe and envy. (Kemado)