The Sword and Zebulon Pike tonight at the Triple Rock
Like a bloodied finger mashed onto a Black Sabbath single, dragging it from 45 to 33 1/3. Like a bandsaw filmed in super slo-mo, with plenty of time to watch it shear through the gristle and bone. Metal is bouncing back, and, perhaps more than any other band riding this wave ashore, The Sword is a band morbidly obsessed with the power of the power chord. Their songs are crude, messy autopsies of progressions presumed lost to the modern hesher, performed with dull knives and bare hands, and the Austin four-piece takes their sweet time, weighing every organ and orifice piece by piece. After all, what's the rush? In metal, we all know the rules. Even the most adventurous metalhead stands on familiar soil. No one's going to sneak up on them while they're tearing that G-chord limb from limb.
Harkening to Pantera at their most grudgingly mid-tempo, and to Sabbath if they had performed from the depths of an ether stupor, The Sword has fashioned a suffocating sonic presence over the course of their career, one that decompresses your lungs and seems to leave you wanting breath. They’ve risen in a froth to the top of the classic metal resurgence, keeping company with Mastodon and Wolfmother and garnering tall, well-deserved praise from Rolling Stone and Spin magazines alike. Their debut full length, Age of Winters, landed a single onto Guitar Hero II, and even managed to shoehorn some Skynyrd swagger into that dense-as-lead formula. They’re currently touring in support of their follow-up, God Of The Earth, an album which, like the band itself, is fantastic entry-level metal that proves sometimes, two little chords are enough to split the skull, provided you repeat them long enough.
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