The Sword - Age of Winters
Kemado Records
Stoner/Heavy Metal
9 songs (42'57'')
Release year: 2006
The Sword, Kemado Records
Reviewed by Jared
Archive review

Coming to us from Austin, Texas, The Sword was formed in 2003 under the direction of John Cronise. They did not release their first full-length until 2006, but it received much positive criticism overall for the debut album Age of Winters. Recently I got a recommendation from a close friend of mine to give them a listen, but more importantly to give hear this band’s ability to induce some serious head banging. Usually when I see bands that reside out of the United States, I tend to avoid them, but The Sword surprised me with their sound and the fun attitude they made me feel with a lot of their songs on this record. The Sword can be seen as stoner metal, with heavy influences and a hint of doom to top it all off. It is a pretty solid album with memorable jams that are simply done with a fun attitude.

A just shy of two minutes introduction makes up the beginning of the album. The sluggish guitars and drum pattern sound like a simple jam that sounds a bit like a garage band warm up. Barael’s Blade, the following track, increases the simplicity to a heavier more pristine stoner sound that is just very entertaining to coddle into. Riffs might be simple, but the way this band jams on the album just made it almost too impossible to refrain from nodding my head. This album remains pretty consistent from song to song, and Freya is no different continuing with a fun jam these guys play on the album. The vocals sound just as complementing as the music, but nothing that blew me away or made me super impressed by any means but the vocals of Cronise just fit for this band and the album.

The next two tracks, Winter’s Wolves and The Horned Goddess, did become a bit boring for me. The solo at the start of Winter’s Wolves didn't prompt any shock and awe when I heard it. Neither did the fact that the simple palm muting and chords didn’t really grab my attention as the beginning of the album did. The Horned Goddess is another extremely laid back track that had me having some difficulty enjoying it, but wasn’t a complete bore. It got a little more rock sounding at moments with the tone of the guitars which did intrigue me some but not completely.

Maybe one of the most notable songs, such as Iron Swan, begins with clean guitars with a hippie sound to the mix, but bursts into heavy guitar accompanied by a strong double bass of the drums. It’s a head bangers delight, and ended up being one of my absolute favorite songs on the entire album. Not as much singing is heard on this track, and gets a little more technical with guitar work than most of the other tracks when soloing occurs. It is indeed the heaviest track this album has to offer and one of the most revisited ones I had after completing the album.

The album is one of the more fun albums I was able to add to my collection recently. It’s a solid piece with a great stoner and heavy metal sound that I usually don’t see myself getting into, but this time around I’m glad I could. I haven’t heard much of anything after this debut album from The Sword, but I’d like to think this rather solid album may be hard to top, but I could be surprised with the more I look into their music.

Killing Songs :
Barael’s Blade, Freya, Iron Swan, March of the Lor
Jared quoted 70 / 100
Other albums by The Sword that we have reviewed:
The Sword - Warp Riders reviewed by Jake and quoted 95 / 100
The Sword - Gods Of The Earth reviewed by Jerrol and quoted 71 / 100
The Sword - The Sword (EP) reviewed by Ken and quoted 80 / 100
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