Warp Riders review by The Sword

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  • Released: Aug 24, 2010
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.4 (51 votes)
The Sword: Warp Riders
1

Sound — 9
So here we find ourselves with a new Sword record. I can't say that I very much expected a change in sound, seeing as 'Gods of the Earth' was almost identical in production, progression and just overall ass-kickery to 'Age of Winters'. However, I am both pleasantly surprised and mildly disappointed. The disappointment lies in my wanting another bone-crushing, Sabbath-worshipping riff fest, and it still delivers the riffage in all it's loveliness (I.E. Arrows in the Dark, (The Night the Sky Cried) Tears of Fire). However, a large part of the album is executed in a much more Texas-rock style than I expected (The Chronmancer I: Hubris, Night City), as if ZZ Top decided to try their hand at recording 'Paranoid'. The first single, 'Tres Brujas' is actually probably the best cut to introduce anyone to the album's hybrid sound. It mashes the two camps of Sabbath and Top into each other pretty perfectly. And with more listens it becomes a pretty cool change up. Also, Matt Bayles' production (FINALLY) pushes Cronise's vocals through the mix so that the entire package can be heard in crisp, non-muddied glory.

Lyrics — 7
This is also the first Sword record to have a (moderately) cohesive storyline concerning an archer exiled from his tribe on the planet of Archeron, with one side lying in perpetual darkness while the other lies in perpetual light. The story itself is actually pretty easy to follow when compared to, say, the cluster-f--k that is Coheed and Cambria's 'Amory Wars' saga. The lyrics follow one of two paths: either directly setting up the scene and playing it before you eyes (or ears) or playing off as some kind of dialogue between the main character and the assorted inhabitants of the story. However, when the dialogue sections happened upon my ears, I found myself cringing at their B-movie quality. And lyrics, while usually pretty "METAL", have never really been a strong point with the Sword. Usually it's all about dedication to the riff. And I'm just fine with that.

Overall Impression — 8
Overall, we've been given another fine offering by the Texas quartet, and the self-respecting stoner metal fan would already own this gem. It's not on the level of perfection that 'Winters' was, but tracks like 'Tres Brujas' and 'The Chronomancer II: Hubris' make it come pretty damn close.

37 comments sorted by best / new / date

    BloodRedSkies
    i personally believe this album is great, they really outdid themselves. The production improvement rules, it really brings out J.D's rather awesome voice, but doesn't lose the big sound they have created on their previous albums.
    DethbyChocolate
    This is a great album. The vocals are cleaner, and more polished then previous albums, thumbs up for that. I didnt think it was quite as heavy as their previous albums, but they dont dissapoint
    TheThirdDay
    I think I have my new favorite reviewer. You're out, Amy.
    freedomdeceptiv wrote: "The drums are always keeping the beat" very observant
    ****ing LOL.
    Andragon
    Vocals get better every album. Killer riffs and grooves. 8/10. For those unfamiliar, it's more like Corrosion meets Thin Lizzy.
    bearsfan092
    Oh man I seriously need to get this album. The Sword has been a rising band and I'm anxious to see how they progress from their last album.
    krvolok
    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."
    40 years of vocal heritage are just obliterated in two sentences.
    cotton3434
    duncang wrote: Hells.Mascot wrote: The front page heading for this review is a fragment. I've long since given up actually considering what reviewers on here say with any gravity, but the UG team proves time and again that they're retarded. Cue duncang telling me to watch my mouth. Not at all, you're (partly) correct. I just hope you recognise that there are some good writers here!
    Not to kiss ass or anything, but... what Duncang said. Specifically him and Pete (most of the time, anyway). Guess I'll check this out. Just hope it's a bit better than the UG review.
    bubinatoriusx
    this is the most welcome album within past two years for me. the Sword just really speaks directly to my soul. such a power!
    Flying Couch
    This one seems a lot cleaner than the last two. I like it. I dunno that I like it as much as Gods of the Earth ("To Take the Black" and "The Black River" are still goddamn legendary), but this is a really awesome record nonetheless. Can't wait to see them in October.
    BearCaveEcho
    OH FUCK YEAH!!!!! Finally, I've been waiting for one of my bands to put out something new this year (Mastodon, Baroness, The Sword...) No, before any douchebag steps and says "YOUR BANDS?!?!?!?!" I'm just going to make this clear. I listen to them. Not own them. You can listen to them to.
    The Snowman
    I'm a Sword fan, and have been ever since I saw them open up for Metallica and Lamb of God a few years ago, and I'd definitely say this is their best work yet. Obviously, they're not the most talented musically or technically, but they've got some really cool stuff.
    na10tbolt
    I had no clue this band had new material. I wasn't aware when Baroness's Blue Record came out the day I happened to be at my local record store either. I'm expecting a similar pleasant/awesome surprise when I listen to this.
    TsarBomba
    I'll have to give it a solid listen. Age of Winters was a bit of fun, but it's nothing special at all if you're into Sleep or High on Fire.
    jasonbloss
    album is pretty dang good. not groundbreaking or anything, but i didn't expect it to be. just a good time with some great riffs.
    Patty-cakez
    I'll pick it up soon! Fucking LOVE The Sword. Really groovy shit. Need some more metal like that.
    krvolok
    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
    If it has a story(which has an end and a beginning a twist and so forth)it's a concept album,think King Diamond Abigail/Them/Conspiracy.If there is no story rather a theme it's a theme album -Iced Earth Horror Show.
    duncang
    Hells.Mascot wrote: The front page heading for this review is a fragment. I've long since given up actually considering what reviewers on here say with any gravity, but the UG team proves time and again that they're retarded. Cue duncang telling me to watch my mouth.
    Not at all, you're (partly) correct. I just hope you recognise that there are some good writers here!
    Hells.Mascot
    The front page heading for this review is a fragment. I've long since given up actually considering what reviewers on here say with any gravity, but the UG team proves time and again that they're retarded. Cue duncang telling me to watch my mouth.
    crazy8rgood
    krvolok wrote: 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 If it has a story(which has an end and a beginning a twist and so forth)it's a concept album,think King Diamond Abigail/Them/Conspiracy.If there is no story rather a theme it's a theme album -Iced Earth Horror Show.
    There's a story to this album. It's about some dude with a spaceship who leaves Earth and does some stuff. I don't really know the exact details of it, though.
    streetlight7
    CapnKickass wrote: haha UG.. can't you see what you have wrought here? bloody battles will be fought here.
    Thats badass..... This album owns! Killer riffs, killer drums and bass, and JD can sing! I've read so many bad reviews about this thing, I don't see why anyone would think so.
    CapnKickass
    haha UG.. can't you see what you have wrought here? bloody battles will be fought here.
    zalant
    krvolok wrote:
    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." 40 years of vocal heritage are just obliterated in two sentences.
    As I read the review, I was thinking that perhaps it had been written by Skwisgaar Skwigelf from Metalocalypse. "They can't helps it, Toki. Not everyone gets the advantage of superior Scandinavians egucation."
    crazysam23_Atax
    I wonder if the UG Team realizes that Black Metal isn't slow. That's Doom Metal, guys. Hell, the UG review was almost as bad as the Amy reviews...
    BloodRedSkies
    krvolok wrote: 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." 40 years of vocal heritage are just obliterated in two sentences.
    ugh just saw that
    BloodRedSkies
    krvolok wrote: 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." 40 years of vocal heritage are just obliterated in two sentences.
    xHellbound
    I can't wait to get this album. I just started listening to The Sword and they're amazing.
    strat-lover87
    I rather dug this record. As far as I'm concerned this album showed improvement in every category. The vocals more diverse as well as the guitar work. I was especially satisfied with the more vintage tones to be found on the record
    krvolok
    crazy8rgood wrote: krvolok wrote: 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 If it has a story(which has an end and a beginning a twist and so forth)it's a concept album,think King Diamond Abigail/Them/Conspiracy.If there is no story rather a theme it's a theme album -Iced Earth Horror Show. There's a story to this album. It's about some dude with a spaceship who leaves Earth and does some stuff. I don't really know the exact details of it, though.
    You know that and I know that,but I only know because I checked it out since the review was vague as hell.