Published Mar 21, 2018Charting the evolution of their sound, the Sword could be seen as undergoing an evolution akin to that of Mastodon, but less successfully. First displayed with High Country, and now cemented in Used Future, the Sword venture into territory borne more out of classic rock and even country than heavy metal.
It would be false to say that the band do not craft some quality work on Used Future. However, there seems to be a loss of the vitality that ran steady in past work like Warp Riders. Though tracks like "Twilight Sunrise" and "Used Future" provide some memorable riffs or drum tempos, songs quickly become formulaic or simply uninteresting, in part due to the vocals, which vary barely at all.
In contrast, the several instrumental tracks spice things up, like "The Wild Sky" and "Nocturne," a wholly synth, John Carpenter-style composition right out of Escape from New York. In "Come and Gone," the band hint at a less conventional, more dream-like direction, to great effect, though it is fleeting.
On Used Future, the Sword are furthering the promise made by High Country and shifting their sound to one that is, arguably, less hard-hitting or affecting. The band maintain a proficiency at writing catchy riffs and intoxicating grooves, merging the likes of Sabbath with ZZ-Top, but the feeling of repetition, combined with a lack of impact like they used to have, may leave fans wanting. (Razor & Tie)