Live by the Sword
BY FIRE AND SWORD from Idaho, USA are presenting their “Glory” debut album, a release that instantly caught my attention even from the very first listen. The band delivers an interesting combination of Heavy, old school Power and Epic Metal carrying lots of European and US influences on their Metal manifesto.
What really hooked me on the music of this record is the actual way that each and every song is developed: The band is following a rather unorthodox structure of formulas to combine a variety of riffs, melodies, narrations, larger than life -and at the same time minimal as per their vocal performance- verses and choruses, lead guitar parts and solos, leading to a final result that sounds so adventurous and at the same time so fucking catchy! I found myself not even expecting what to hear on the very next second of each and every song on this album. The above situation generated a pretty much enjoyable listening experience that remained on the continuous spins of the album. Because even when I started to “learn” the songs, I was still enjoying their adventurous vibe, the high class melodies and even those from song to song tempo changes -from mid tempo pompous compositions to faster pieces pointing straight to the age of steel.
The vocal melodies are a big deal in here and I already pointed their targeting to a minimalistic approach that actually serves the band’s concept: And the band’s concept is to actually satirize a variety of clichés that often trademark the actual Epic Metal universe they serve: By listening this particular album you may discover a different point of view about the road to light that is followed by brave warriors who have chosen to stand next to honorable reverends for the ultimate and life going battle against forces of darkness. “Hey wait a minute”, I am hearing you crying. “Is this a casual Christian concept as well”? Well perhaps, but for sure “Glory” is not a Xian Metal album. You got to discover all the rest by yourselves. All you got to do is to follow the band’s artistic study in sarcasm.
Musically this debut brought into my mind many groups: Swedish MDXX -also signed at No Remorse Records- is one of them. WANTON ATTACK (Sweden: check, No Remorse roster: check) is another. I am pointing those two bands, mainly for their arcane touch, the warm sound and the riffing, plus the minimal vocals and the overall melodies. CHILDREN OF THE REPTILE (again for the melodies), ANGEL OF MERCY and THE MEZMERIST (for the old school surrealism) and THRONE OF IRON (for the epic obscurity, yes, they are another No Remorse band), can also be mentioned. And I can also put some BLIND GUARDIAN and some GATEKEEPER on the list (for the faster pieces) and EVEN some GHOST (for those, often dreamy, pop oriented vocal melodies that are so wisely attached on those epic riffs). Yeah, I know, too many different influences and I still wonder how the hell this thing manages to sound so damned catchy.
Before I close the review, I would like to point that the production of the album, is doing justice to the overall result and it sounds great. So, what we got in here? A troll Epic Metal band? We can all point one or two bands on the same mood but I can guarantee that the music of BY FIRE AND SWORD is for sure a lot more amazing -at least to my ears.
Unorthodox, inspired and catchy, the Steel delivered by this band is for the brave ones only.
Check the discussion about the album in our forum pages.