The Sword

‘How Heavy This Axe‘ declares the second track on ‘Gods Of The Earth‘. Not quite as heavy as The Sword’s music itself, you suspect. This Texas quartet’s 2006 debut album ‘Age Of Winters‘ saw them worshipping unashamedly at the altar of the riff, but this time around, they’ve upped the stakes to the extent that they themselves could well be considered riff gods.

The likes of ‘Under The Boughs‘ and ‘Fire Lances Of The Ancient Hyperzephyrians‘ (!) are rooted somewhere between the lurching riffs of High On Fire and the propulsive stoner-core of Corrosion Of Conformity, and there is no shortage of conviction or musical swagger on show throughout the whole nine tracks (here’s to quality over quantity!). The band have been described as sounding like “…a bunch of bison being pushed over a cliff” ; as bizarre as that may sound, it’s not inaccurate.

The Sword have never exactly been slackers – in the live setting or on record – but with ‘Gods Of The Earth‘, they’ve proved themselves to be amongst the finest ambassadors of Southern rock today. If you were unfortunate/dumb enough to miss their recent UK tour, then console yourself by checking out ‘Lords‘ on the link above. Hopefully they’ll be back soon.

Alex Gosman