SWORD are back! Did I mention that SWORD are back? Yes, I did, for the U.S. classic metal LEGEDNDS are back with a vengeance. After so many years, SWORD have a whole bunch of new songs that are meant to become classics. And frankly I don’t give a shit whether they are new songs or old compositions lost somewhere in the 90’s. They sound incredible. But let’s get first things first.
In the unlikely event that you have never heard of SWORD, know that they are pioneers of the Canadian metal scene, formed in the early 80’s, releasing two classic albums before disbanding in the early 90’s. Now, thirty years later, they are back WITH THE ORIGINAL LINE-UP and a new album.
As with many American and Canadian bands of this era, SWORD formed their sound around JUDAS PRIEST. That is to be heavy overdriven songs, razor sharp riffs and a brawling vibe. However, SWORD color their sound with a couple of hard rock/melodic metal influences like very early SKID ROW, LILLIAN AXE or DOKKEN (“Back for the Attack” era), thus creating a sound palette that makes the album quite interesting.
Though I miss the epic moments of their first album (sad to be said, there are no tracks like “Children of heaven” here), I enjoyed their streetwise roughness and catchy choruses. The album seems to be the expected evolution of “Sweet dreams” and songs like “Bad blood”, “Took my chances”, “Not me, no way”, “Dirty pig” sound as if they came straight from that era.
Clearly the album’s highlight is Hughes vocals. Loud and clear, they dominate the songs and make the difference, combined with complex riffs and the superb rhythm of Hughes and Larock create metal anthems like “(I am) In Kommand” one of the best songs I listened this year, or “Not me, no way” another of the album’s great moments.
Suffice to say that “III” is an awesome album, essential for all those who miss this heavy rocking, late 80’s sound. Great songs, great music. Don’t let it pass you by without listening to it.
Check the discussion about the band and the album in our forum pages.