There are lots of things we discover by chance. Some people do not believe in coincidences but in the conjunction of elements in life which drive you to be in the right place at the right time. You know, that beer you’re having at a certain pub you seldom frequent and then you meet the woman of your dreams, or that beer you buy because there’s no other remaining at the convenience store and it tastes like Heaven. Perhaps I’m exaggerating in this case, but it’s a funny way to start talking about the way I discovered The Sword. Probably some of you heard of them in the same way, and don’t find it so weird, but I consider it’s worth mentioning at least.
I’m not into videogames. Definitely not. I love pinball machines though, but my interest in videogames lasts 20 minutes average. There are exceptions, of course. Vintage Nintendo’s, games such as Pac-Man or Out Run…
Some years ago a videogame managed to convince me of getting one of these Sony Playstation II consoles. I even purchased a dancing mat in an attempt of dancing and doing some exercise so as to optimize the damn machine. By now I’m pretty sure you know which game I’m talking about. Yeah, that’s right, it’s Guitar Hero. I ended up with two guitars, several games including the special Aerosmith and the metal 80’s, but I really focused on breaking stages in order to release blocked songs, had some fun at some parties and very soon my interest was lost. I (we) eventually sold the console with all the accessories. Sorry dad! It didn’t make any sense to me.
I must admit thanks to this game I recovered some bands I wasn’t listening to anymore and discovered one of my favorite bands, Heart. My ringtone was Buckethead’s song Jordan for years (what a riff!) and I headbanged a lot with a song named Freya.
For many years I forgot about this song and the band The Sword, I even thought it was just a song and that band wasn’t active anymore, and to be honest, never took a minute to check them out years ago. However, several months ago I started seeing promo posters announcing a live show in Barcelona, and all of a sudden The Sword were quite present around me.
Of course, after reading some reviews I decided to give them a chance and started listening to their last album, Apocryphon, quite good actually, and eventually got my ticket for the show. I almost didn’t make it as I had this shitty stomach virus which forced me to spend 17 hours sleeping in pain (imagine, Toi sleeping so many hours, I had to be really fucked up, I hate sleeping more than 5!), and I was feeling weak. But somehow I thought if I was staying at home I’d regret not attending, so I finally moved my ass to the venue. It was an excellent show no matter that some people complained about the band not interacting with the audience at all, and I loved everyone heavily headbanging at the same time as in communion. The execution of the songs and the performance were brilliant.
Gorgeous Shutt’s heavy and powerful riffs really drove me crazy and same as always, I run to my beloved internet and got me a couple of albums, Apocryphon and their debut, Age of Winters, which includes Freya.
I’m through a riffer stage lately thus I’m truly enjoying this 9 piece album. It’s strange because I don’t consider myself a passionate of heavy metal music, but in Age of Winters there are plenty of brilliant passages, very epic and heavy, but fresh and straight at the same time.
Every time I hear the heaviness of the opening song Celestial Crown I think of Sleep and High on Fire, so stomping and powerful. However Barael’s Blade brings me memories of Wolfmother (I swear!). There are more classic doom stoner riffs and changes as in The March of the Lor, which remind me of Orange Goblin or even Kyuss, with the open cymbals, creating lots of surrounding noise, or the double guitar solos. Cronise on vocals is very special. I hear both Ozzy, Nebula’s singer Eddie Glass, quite far from the classical heavy metal or doom sound we are used to. And then there is Kyle Shutt. I love his style, his presence on stage saves the band from being motionless as he doesn’t stop moving, and the way he plays transmits a lot (and I love his hair J )But no doubt the hottest hit is Freya. For weeks its riffs have kept on repeating in my head once and once again. Very heavy and very groovie.
I’m glad I didn’t stay at the Hellhouse that night, and I’m totally up to them. Thanks to bands such as The Sword or Clutch, I’m recovering the interest in stoner and heavier stuff. I don’t think I’ll be digging too deep in the scene looking for 200 little bands with a couple of riffs, but enough as to enjoy the moment while it’s worth it, and check out bands I didn’t pay attention to before, because, yeah friends, in the rock-metal universe there are also hypes, and stoner is one of them.