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One hell of a classic heavy metal experience - 93%

DesecratorJ, May 22nd, 2019

Myself being also from the province of Quebec, I did not really got to know this band before having listen to other old school bands from my hometown like Voivod and Deaf Dealer. I saw some old TV reports and saw these guys from a band called Sword and couldn't resist to give them a shot. I didn't really know what to expect there, but one thing for sure, I remember getting crazy about this band. Actually, Sword is one of the few 80s metal bands from Quebec that managed to tour around the world. They came out pretty much out of nowhere and provoked an explosion with their energy and intense live performance. Their biggest achievement was being booked as an opening act for Metallica in 1986 and to have toured with Motôrhead as well. The material on the album reviewed here is the exact proof that Sword knew how to create a classic heavy metal album that would show what this music is all about.

The first album of the band called "Metalized", was released back in 1986, which is one of the most important year in the heavy metal music development. What we have here is ten tracks and the album has a playing time of nearly 35 minutes. As soon as you hit the play button, you get blasted with a killer opening riff of the first track "F.T.W.". Being the first song I ever heard by the band as well, you get a pretty good idea of what Sword is all about. The music is straight forward and doesn't give a break, and the worse in all that record, the songs are catchy as hell. This whole album might grow upon you very quickly after getting through it with its memorable verses and choruses. Each tracks are rather short and doesn't exceed the four minutes mark except the last song "Evil Spell", which has a cool introduction before singer Rick Hughes screams out his lungs. The energy displayed on "Metalized" is what makes the album memorable and everything is on point.

The songwriting is also incredibly original, every songs sound very different to each other and the band explored many facets of the metal genre. The second track "Children of Heaven" has a more classic vibe and structure, the heaviness of the sound and the catchiness of the lyrics still makes it a great number. While "The End of the Night" sounds a little similar in term of intensity, the speed metal oriented "Outta Control" made me realize how amazing this album actually is. Another great highlight we can find on there is the killer track "Dare to Spit", which start out groovy and then switch into a solid heavy metal attack. The guitar work is to be praised as well, the solos are very well written and especially in "Where to Hide". There are some cool melodies present at some points on the album which adds even more details into the songs. Basically everyone in the band is at the top of their game on this album and the production work is flawless. All the instruments are mixed properly and the drums sound is outstanding.

Out of all the material on the album, the only song I did not really like is "Stuck in Rock", and the simple reason is that I didn't enjoy its verses and how it slow down at some point in the track. Otherwise, "Metalized" to me is a masterpiece of the Canadian heavy metal scene. Unfortunately, the band didn't continue in that direction and went to release underwhelming material compared to this before disbanding. I recommend giving this album a serious listen if you didn't already as it will get caught in your head due to its catchiness. If you want a real experience of 80s heavy metal, this is definitely one of a great choice.

Best tracks:

Dare to Spit
Evil Spell
F.T.W.
Outta Control
The End of the Night