The Sword - Warp Riders [2010]

Posted by Captain Beyond Zen on Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Sword is back with pomp and circumstance. The album 'Warp Riders' fuminates out of the speaker boxes like a tornado through a Texan prairie. The sound pressure lets your bell-bottoms jitter. Awesome artwork, bodacious production. It seems that The Sword has done everything right. They have improved in all areas. Terrific guitar playing, southern feeling, boisterous production, cool vocals. All their trademarks, which beloved by their aficionados, are superabound. However, what's wrong with 'Warp Riders'? Everything's just perfect from an objective point of view, but in my humble opinion the mystical, dark and magical spirit of the predecessors lacks on 'Warp Riders' just a little bit.

The Sword walks the same path as Mastodon, Zoroaster and High on Fire. They want a huge piece of the cake. The commercial motivation of these bands is obvious. I don't want to say that The Sword curries favor with the mainstream audience, but they go about doing everything a little bit more doggedly. The airily and instinctively approach is gone. This is the main issue with the above mentioned bands. It is a small line they are walking and they run the risk to end up in irrelevant muzak. All of them still get their act together. Especially The Sword is far far away from my misgivings and delivered an impeccable album, but my enthusiasm for my "old" heroes deteriorates a little and starts to crumble. I'm a wee bit disappointed because I expected the ultimate album of the year, but you know the one's you like the most you criticize the most. Nevertheless highly recommended and definitely one of the top albums of 2010!

Track listing:
1.     "Acheron/Unearthing the Orb"       3:43
2.     "Tres Brujas"       4:09
3.     "Arrows in the Dark"       4:30
4.     "The Chronomancer I: Hubris"       7:35
5.     "Lawless Lands"       5:09
6.     "Astraea's Dream"       3:23
7.     "The Warp Riders"       3:57
8.     "Night City"       3:50
9.     "The Chronomancer II: Nemesis"       5:49
10.   "(The Night the Sky Cried) Tears of Fire"       6:11

The Sword:
    * J. D. Cronise – vocals, guitars
    * Kyle Shutt – guitars
    * Bryan Richie – bass
    * Trivett Wingo – drums, percussion
Additional personnel:
    * Matt Bayles – production, engineering, mixing, organ, synthesizers
    * Joey Benjamin – engineering assistance
    * Chris Common – engineering assistance
    * George Marino – mastering
    * Dan McPharlin – artwork, graphic design


  1. Paul

    I love it!

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