Live Reviews

The Sword – Live

w/ Diagonal
The Borderline Club,
London 29/03/09

It was at 9 O’Clock in the morning that I got a text from my friend, Awesome Jason. He had a spare ticket to a band called The Sword that he was going to send my way. I knew that these guys have been on tour with Metallica for quite some time but they had flown way below my radar. I went into this gig totally blind. I had no idea who these guys were, what they sounded like or even what they played. I knew absolutely nothing about them. By the end of the evening I knew exactly what this band was all about.

Diagonal were tonight’s support band and I couldn’t be happier to hear these guys were on the bill. I had seen these dudes before at the Rise Above records 20th anniversary show last year and they really shone. A band that not only produce some of today’s finest cosmic jams but also look like they could hold their own on University challenge. Diagonal’s live set is a no frills approach to their trippy music. No banter with the crowd just straight in and down to business. They try and cram all the sax, synth and solos into their allotted time and do a brilliant job grabbing the attention of the audiences ‘third eye’. I’d expect nothing less from these psychedelic dweebs. I mean that in the nicest possible way.

You will not be disappointed“. Those were the words of one very excited Zac Leeks ahead of The Sword’s performance at the Borderline. The silver fox wasn’t wrong… Unfamiliar with their back catalogue, I couldn’t possibly tell you what The Sword played tonight other than one of the heaviest shows I have seen in a long time. The relentless, galloping riffs were just so heavy it would give any Saint Vitus fan hard-on. The band is so damn tight it’s unreal. They have the ability to shift from brutal shredding into some of the most classic sounding solos with the greatest of ease and covered a bunch of songs from their first EP such as the raging . Their time on the road on these goliath tours with seasoned bands has clearly rubbed off on this young, stoner metal quartet. The only down side of tonight’s gig was the vocals that were simply dwarfed by the band’s sound and power. The Sword finish their set and leave the stage only to return for an encore. The only band I have seen in months worthy of one and a band that look like they genuinely enjoy playing for the sake of playing… and playing hard! It wouldn’t have made a blind bit of difference if they were playing an eighteen thousand capacity arena or a club that holds two hundred. The Swords sound can hold its own.

When a band can project such a colossal sound and such energy you know you are on to a winner. I came away for the show thinking that this was the best band I had seen in a long time. No Shit. If I were Metallica I’d be quaking in my fuckin’ boots because one day, these young whipper-snappers are going to destroy you just like they destroyed the Borderline.

Tom Lindsey