The Sword - Greetings From... album review

Sci-fi stoner rifflords send out a live transmission

Cover art for The Sword - Greetings From... album

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Has it been just 11 years since The Sword released their fantastical debut, Age Of Winters? If it feels like more, you need only take into account the prodigious studio output released by the Austin-based stoner rock crew: five progressively ambitious studio campaigns that document the band’s stylistic evolution from riffy sludgelords to vanguards of retro-experimentalism. Culled from their 2016 autumn tour supporting Opeth, these nine tracks offer a career-spanning sampler that neatly bottles the lightning of their live set, complete with between-song noodling, the clink of bottles and utterly hypnotic synthesiser interludes that underscore The Sword’s fantasy and sci-fi influences. Buzzards and John The Revelator serve up a resinous feast of fat, crunchy riffs, blistering solos and absolutely filthy Texas grooving. Curiously, they’ve omitted Freya – their biggest hit – but you hardly miss it behind bong-sparking belters like Tres Brujas. Clocking in at 42 minutes, the album feels a bit light and as with any live show, the wanton jamming sort of bleeds together. Nonetheless, Greetings From… delivers everything you’d expect in a live album.

Hailing from San Diego, California, Joe Daly is an award-winning music journalist with over thirty years experience. Since 2010, Joe has been a regular contributor for Metal Hammer, penning cover features, news stories, album reviews and other content. Joe also writes for Classic Rock, Bass Player, Men’s Health and Outburn magazines. He has served as Music Editor for several online outlets and he has been a contributor for SPIN, the BBC and a frequent guest on several podcasts. When he’s not serenading his neighbours with black metal, Joe enjoys playing hockey, beating on his bass and fawning over his dogs.