Sound — 9
The Sword sound is fairly simple, metallic power chords that sound as if they are going to implode, matching bass riffs, and drums that keep the whole groove together. The vocals are a haunting drone weaving tales of bloody battles, goddesses, wolves, pretty much anything fantasy/medievel related. Their biggest influence is (if you haven't geussed already) Black Sabbath, but unlike some of their peers in the stoner metal/rock genre they aren't as tongue-in-cheek about who influences them as artists. However, these guys aren't just ripp offs of Ozzy and company, they take their sound where those guys left off. This CD is mind bending, and each song is an epic in itself. However, some listeners may be turned off by the somewhat repetitiveness of the songs. They all sound to be in the same key, and are all incredibly riff oriented, however their frequent time changes and guitar solos more than make up for it.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics in Age Of Winters are very good. Fantasy tales of medievel battles and mythology run rampant on this album. However, at times I felt that a bit more background information was needed to understand the lyrics, or that some intially didn't seem to make sense, but with a little research and lyric reading and they become comprehendable. One has no problem decifering what they singer is saying though, as the lyrics come out in a one note drone that melds perfectly with the background instrument. The only problem with the lyrics is the vast medievel/fantasy theme, this dosen't bother me (nor do I think it will bother the target audience) but it may turn some listeners off.
Overall Impression — 9
The Sword is by far one of my favorite metal bands, and they deserve the title. The most impressive songs on the album are Winter's Wolves and Lament For The Aurochs, which are incredibly well done. The thing I love about them is that they can perform an almost vintage/retro style of metal but still sound fresh and exciting. Every song is a well planed epic that most definetly deserves a spot in your CD player. If it were lost or stolen the first thing I would do is by another copy. If your into bands like Sabbath, Zeppelin, Wolfmother, etc. then you will surely love this band.