Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Aimless, uninspiring but competent stoner-fuzz - 72%

Arkkiperkele, June 15th, 2008

The Sword have managed during their relatively short existance (at least album-wise) to come under heavy fire and bashing from the so-called 'true' metal community. Someone, somewhere, told me once that metal listeners were tolerant and receptive and that the community was open. That's quite as true as saying that there's mature, relevant and constructive discussion going on the Blabbermouth.

I don't have much attachment to nor awareness of how The Sword and its members associate in the scene. Most likely they are labeled false, poser, irrelevant et cetera, judging from the bands they've been touring with (Lacuna Coil for example). A lot of seemingly ignorant and skin-deep bashing surrounds this band and everything they've put out.

But if you completely ignore the non-musical elements and try judging the band by its actual merits, what have you? The Sword manages to give its bashers and haters with their latest album pretty much what they've expected, yet it is not too hopeless.

If you had to describe Gods of the Earth with a single phrase, it'd be ”standard, plodding but groovy stoner rock”. That is the biggest flaw with this record, it really doesn't add anything to the scene that there already isn't. It's very pleasing and nice to see that doom/stoner community is ”dynamic”, ”alive”, ”constantly moving ahead”, but what good is it if the bottom line is the same as square one?

The album opens with a promise, The Sundering, a semi-acoustic instrumental. In all its blandness it may be the album highlight for me, not for the least due to its short title. Overbearing song titles are more than a rule here. From the second track onwards the album descends into a chaos, a sonic chasm that sounds like someone is trying to put together a Sabbath/Kyuss/Orange Goblin-inspired
stoner album.

Emphasis here lies on ”trying”, that is because the whole set lacks an aim, artistic or else. Somebody told these guys, ”it's time to make some stoner metal”, handing over a bunch of bucks and keys to the studio... And you can hear it. From the get-go the album wanders on, blind-folded and lost. The production is cheap off-the-shelf Kyuss imitation. There is a good riff there and nice solo here, but they all seem out of place, as if lame carbon-copies instead of actual stuff. That is because a myriad bunch of bands throughout the US and the world have done these things all before, and done 'em better.

There are still bunch of good tracks besides the opener. The Frost Giants and Fire Lances remain edible for human appetite, galloping, crushing riffage, however broken by interludes that almost make you cry...of shame. To Take The Black is then the pinnacle and overall height of the whole album. Beginning with a Planet Caravan atmosphere, it morphs up to become a nice good Wino-tribute with Irish (?) folk tendencies hurrying along. The Sword provide themselves a raison d'etre with this track alone. Oh yes, the hidden track, but it is good, has nothing to do with the rest of the disc. And that's for the better.

So what else have you in The Sword and their 2008 output, besides a pretender? This pretender may be at times just as good as the real thing it woes to be, really competent in the bread and butter department. But soon you will get pretty much tired and fed up with the bread and go for the steak. Recommended only to complement an all encompassing stoner collection.