The Sword - Greetings From… album review

Purveyors of cutting-edge stoner metal

Cover art for The Sword - Greetings From… album

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Without doubt, Texas titans The Sword are one of the grooviest exponents of stoner rock currently plying their trade, though what their oeuvre has lacked so far is a live album, a document to showcase the band in the white-hot heat of sonic battle. So last autumn, while touring with Opeth, they recorded every gig and plucked nine soul-quaking nuggets to represent what they do best. And while it’s not a classic, it does the job in a pleasingly loose and lairy fashion.

The main thing to note is just how warts and all it sounds, as the vocals struggle to make it through the shitstorm of bluesy doom and wanton heavy psych. Ultimately, however, the imperfections matter not a jot as the likes of Tears Like Diamonds, Tres Brujas and immense closer The Horned Goddess drive home the sheer brain-shaking elemental power of The Riff in all its glory.

Whether it’s magazines, books or online, Essi has been writing about rock ’n’ metal for around thirty years. He has been reviews editor for Classic Rock and Metal Hammer, rock reviews editor for lads mag Front and worked for Kerrang!. He has also written the Rough Guide to Heavy Metal and contributed to the Rough Guide to Rock and Rough Guide Book of Playlists, and the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles (13th edition). Most fun interview? Tenacious D – Jack Black and Kyle Gass – for The Pick of Destiny movie book. An avid record/CD/tape collector, he’s amassed more music than he could ever possibly listen to, which annoys his wife no end.