The Sword: Apocryphon

Austin, Texas stoner rockers journey beyond the hype

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After a decade of existence, it was only following Warp Riders’ storming 70s stoner rock in 2010 that The Sword finally shucked the negative response to their quick ascent. Rumours they were emo hipsters jumping on metal’s bandwagon had plagued them since their Age Of Winters debut, but they persevered, impressing the Metallica to the tune of opening slots and videogame inclusion.

The Sword have proven their ability in ignoring the outside world, which bodes well for Apocryphon. It starts off powerfully power-chorded and infectiously groovy with Veil Of Isis. These kids from Austin may not have mastered the shuffling boogie, but they come close on Cloak Of Feathers and the clipped-note riffs of Arcane Montane are complemented by JD Cronise’s soaring, Ozzy-like vocals.

Album four may value slower tempos and the lead guitar work isn’t as seamlessly integrated as on Warp Riders, but it’s still one you can roll smoky sticks on as it transports you to a carefree universe in a plutonium-powered Pinto.