The Sword

House of Blues

March 31, 2005


Now I'll be the first to admit that I like my metal to groove. My favorite metal bands have names like Sanity's Mask, High on Fire, God Forbid, and, of course, Slayer. When a group locks into a heavy groove(at any speed), I'm sold.

Naturally, I loved the Sword. The Austin four piece made a strong case for the current state of metal Thursday night when they opened for ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead. Their sound was thick, and I don't mean thick like molasses. I mean thick like a heavy lead brick--utterly impenetrable.

The group switched time signatures often and flawlessly, normally three or four times in a song. The two guitarists wailed in three part harmony. It was like watching a really pissed off Skynyrd. The sing/screaming was unintelligible, but the words didn't matter in music like that. To be blunt, the music had Balls, with a capital B.

Imagine Fu Manchu playing twice as loud and twice as fast, and that was The Sword. They strutted on stage and said nothing. They said only the minimal thank-you's to the audience and left the stage. Sure, they were four skinny hipster-looking guys, but they were effing intimidating. Nerds with a big sound. And that's what metal's supposed to be about.

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