Sound — 7
The Sword, the metal band out of Austin Texas that throws listeners off guard with their newest album, Warp Riders. The sound of the album is fantastic. Every song has perfect mixing, with guitar parts panned out to each headphone, and everything else sounding sharp in the stereo sound. Nothing is too loud, and no riff ever gets too murky. The instrumental song at the beginning, Acheron/Unleashing The Orb, showed this perfect mixing. The guitars on the album are wonderful. Not very often do metal bands throw in different styles with different distortion types. Take the song Lawless Lands, sounding more southern rock than heavy metal, upbeat and edgy, it has just enough heaviness to give off the metal feel. The solo's flow with the song because they are not meant to be 100 miles per hour fast. A couple songs earlier The Nechromancer Part I: Hubris, has a darker distortion with a slower more blackish metal riff. The riffs and leads on this album can be described as something new. The drums are always keeping the beat, as well as setting the groove for changes in the songs. They do not stand out as fills are not as common as just the regular beat. The bass is pretty general as well, keeping grooves and adding a heavier sound to the lighter distorted guitars. This is a generic sound, with great guitar work!
Lyrics — 8
The singing in this album through me off guard to be honest. It was unbelievable, the album was listed as heavy metal to Itunes, and immediately I thought "Oh boy here comes some raw screams." No. This was not the case at all. The singing is more melodic and actual singing. To describe it, imagine a higher pitched Sully Erna with a comprehensive sounding Ozzy Osbourne, if that would be a real explanation. Just get the hint, the singing has its own melodies on top of the guitar and musical melodies, and it was a new change. It kept me interested to be completely honest. The album's lyrics are written in that of a concept album, and boy those are always fun to read! The concept is mainly following a story, with certain songs giving details of the story, but a story that involves philosophical ideas, such as time, light, death, etc. This was a change to the metal scene indeed.
Overall Impression — 8
This album is a fun listen. The two instrumental songs Acheron/Unleashing The Orb and Astraea's Dream, are really the highlight of the album. They have beautiful compositions and create a great intro/change in the album. The music is generic but catchy, the singing caught me off guard and kept me listening to the melodies. Any stoner metal fan/southern metal/generic metal fan would love this album. The more aggresive metal fans would find this kinda soft, but give it a quick listen anyway, it is soemthing to the metal genre. The Sword's third album, Warp Riders, is a success in my books!