AlbumsNovember 29, 201111,131 views

The Sword Age of Winters

1. Celestial Crown 2. Barael's Blade 3. Freya 4. Winter's Wolves 5. The Horned Goddess 6. Iron Swan MP3 7. Lament for the Aurochs 8. March of the Lor 9. Ebethron
2006 Kemado Records
Our score 6


I have been hearing a good bit about The Sword lately, and to be honest, I don't see what all of the hype is about. Even this one-sheet has quotes from Spin Magazine and about how "badass" The Sword is. It seems that the members of this Austin, TX quartet are set to become media darlings, and I'm quite sure they will build a strong fan base. But like I said, I don't see what the hype is about. The Sword sounds as if the members went to the school of stoner rock, because all the necessary elements are present throughout their new full length, Age of Winters. There are plenty of Iommi-esque riffs, but these riffs weren't handed down directly from Black Sabbath. It seems these riffs passed through the hands of Sleep first. There are many elements of this record that remind me of Sleep's "Holy Mountain." However, the members of The Sword have a much more energetic approach than Sleep ever had. Said approach brings to mind Matt Pike's current band, High On Fire. This album almost sounds like a cool mix of Black Sabbath and Motorhead, but these influences seem to be third generation as they sound more like Sleep's version of Sabbath and High On Fire's version of Motorhead. But hey, everyone has got to start somewhere. A few other interesting facets eventually reveal themselves. The sixth track, "Iron Swan," starts off very upbeat and oozing Motorhead, and then drops down into a killer slow jam, and jumps back up into a chunky two-step part that sounds just like a Terror record. The eighth track begins subtly and then kicks into a Sabbath type jam, but after a couple of measures, the drums kick in with a blast beat. Seriously. After that burst of energy, the music is brought back down into some seriously gnarly grooves. Even though it's hard for me to get past some of the glaring influences, the fact is that these gentlemen do know how to lay down some mean riffs. Some of the guitar solos are very interesting, without being overly intricate. The drumming is powerful and simple. The faster songs make me feel like this drummer has done time in some punk rock bands, because at the faster tempos, his playing actually sounds more solid and confident. Vocalist, J.D. Cronise, has a great voice, and at some points he reminds me of Wino (The Hidden Hand, Saint Vitus), and sometimes he reminds me of Al Cisneros (Om, Sleep). Still at other points, Cronise actually has his own voice, and that's when he sounds his best. Age of Winters has a massive sound, courtesy of themselves. J.D. Cronise and bassist Bryan Richie engineered this record, and it was mastered by Rick Essig. Bottom Line: The Sword have crafted a decent rock and roll album, with tons of doom and stoner influences. Nothing about this album is bad, but nothing really jumps out at me and makes me want to rock. With this style of music, passion and soul mean so much, and this just doesn't have enough for me. But don't get me wrong, because these guys can play and will probably only get better as time goes on. I might be paying attention by their third album. If you just want some new rock and roll, then you probably won't be disappointed by The Sword at all. But I'll just go put on my Hidden Hand records.


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Michael_ 2/28/2006 4:16:45 PM

Good disc - I'd give it a 7/7.5

sadam_andler_ 2/28/2006 4:27:51 PM

this album kills

Mike_ 2/28/2006 5:05:09 PM

I dig these guys. I agree with the "Holy Mountain" comparison.

hotaction_ 2/28/2006 5:23:23 PM

this shreds. regardless of all the badness that was said.

Sean Loiselle_ 2/28/2006 6:37:03 PM

I buy into the hype. This record is f*cking killer. If you're not going to get into it because it's a Sabbath rip-off, then you're just not going to like it.

Brandyon_ 2/28/2006 7:28:34 PM

This cd is at least a 7, I'd give it an 8 War Texas

beardofbees_ 2/28/2006 8:34:13 PM

this f*ckin record is amazing. this bozo donsent know shit. go listen to terror u f*ckstick.

Ozzy Osbourne_ 2/28/2006 8:46:50 PM


Fur_Beach_ 2/28/2006 9:16:41 PM

This album is great. Good comparisons but crappy rating. Rob basically said nothing but good things about it and then gave it a 6. Do you know what numbers mean?

you_in_hawk_country_now_ 2/28/2006 9:57:56 PM

almost all the good things he had to say were based around them sounding like other bands. the rating is entirely justified.

xCERVIXDESTROYERx_ 3/1/2006 7:38:38 AM

"jumps back up into a chunky two-step part that sounds just like a Terror record" two step part? what in the f*ck are you talking about?

you kids will buy anythin_ 3/1/2006 9:12:17 AM

scam band. way to get fooled, fools. maybe me and some of my hipster friends can get together and crib from records we downloaded and sell you all some hokey shit.

Justin_ 3/1/2006 11:16:10 AM

I'd rather listen to the new open hand if you want a good rock record.

hotaction_ 3/1/2006 1:33:09 PM


truthsayer_ 3/1/2006 1:59:02 PM

I think all the comparisons to Sleep's Holy Mountain make a lot of sense. I saw these guys last night and I don't really understand all the overhype/scam comments. They looked and sounded just like every other Stoner band I've seen this year, and most of the people at the show didn't know who they were until they started playing. Great live, great disc - easily an 8/10. The hype is justified.

holycitybradley_ 3/1/2006 2:00:13 PM

first lambgoat review to suprise me in a few months

LazioRoma_ 3/1/2006 3:59:26 PM

I don't think anyone would argue that these dudes don't pay total homage to Sabbath or take influence from any of the other bands. Rob makes it sound like because they're not doing something totally original, they should be faulted. I think sonically, this record is great. Musically, it's definitely good. They're media darlings because it's avant-garde to like stoner metal if you are an aspiring hipster piece of shit. Spin is the bible of such people. The Sword is awesome. Hipsters are gay

toomuchhuge_ 3/1/2006 5:47:26 PM

This review is a summation of all that is wrong in the metal scene today. The Sword has made what is undeniably a kick-ass stoner metal record, and all the reviewer wants to talk about is how they sound like other bands (which all stoner metal bands do...this rearytical technique is a crutch, and a poor one) and how they don't live up to the hype they have garnered (for being a kick-ass stoner metal band). The willingness of many metal fans to reject or dismiss (I regard 6/10 as a "dismissal") a

rob_mcfeters_ 3/1/2006 6:20:03 PM

If you think Avenged Sevenfold benefits metal fans, then you are a f*cking idiot, and your opinion means shit to me. If you think a 6/10 is a bad score, then you need to go back to school and learn math. The number 5 amounts to half of the number 10. Therefore, 5 would be the "average." Any number above 5 is to be considered above average.

hotaction_ 3/1/2006 7:56:54 PM

yeah but feters you gotta admit this cd shouldve deserved AT LEAST a 7. this cd rocks. i downloaded it yesterday and after a few listens it got a little monotonous but just barely. id rather have a band copy sabbath any day then some band that came out last year. the sword shreds!

wizardsbeard_ 3/1/2006 8:00:32 PM

I dig this band, but it's completely valid to fault a band for not being original. Influences? Yes. Direct lifting from previous works? No. Doesn't mean it doesn't sound good. But originality counts, whatever genre you're in.

rob_mcfeters_ 3/1/2006 8:09:49 PM

well, i don't think it deserves a 7, but that's just my opinion. that's all the review is...just my opinion. to me, it's a step above average. therefore a 6 to me.

toomuchhuge_ 3/1/2006 8:20:50 PM

Calling me an idiot is a surefire way to prove your point...I guess it would be expecting too much to expect a cogent explanation of why the popularity and commercial viability of Avenged Sevenfold, Lamb of God, and Mastodon, and other bands enjoying success outside their underground niche is in any way bad for Metal and general. I guess you must be one of those simpletons who dislike anything that doesn't allow you to preen your metal-cred rock-c-ck while you mention it. It takes a truly inept

toomuchhuge_ 3/1/2006 8:23:34 PM

Bottom line is that if Lambgoat finds out about The Sword before Spin does, McFeters writes them a Valentine and forgets to bitch about their lack of "passion and soul"

inside_you_ 3/1/2006 9:38:34 PM

This shit is the coors light of stoner rock.

rob_mcfeters_ 3/1/2006 9:41:12 PM

man you're right. you've changed my mind. i love the sword. they are the best band ever! YaY!!!!

toomuchhuge_ 3/1/2006 10:11:07 PM

Well, you argue like a six-year-old. I believe I am finished here.

rob_mcfeters_ 3/2/2006 12:17:16 AM

you argue on the internet.

fagbrain_ 3/2/2006 1:18:35 AM

HAhaha that should be a new rear c*nt track. "You look adopted"..."You argue on the internet"...."You like Avenged Sevenfold"..."You look retarded" Hey, you can dismiss douchebag's arguments using real and fake rear c*nt songs.

wearyourwounds_ 3/2/2006 3:16:56 AM

you cant discredit a band because they sound like their influences, if that was the case every "bridge 9" or "mosh" or "at the gates rip off" band would deserve a 6. if the album is good (as the review says: "killer slow jam"" seriously gnarly grooves""mean riffs""great voice") basically what im trying to say is 6's belong to failing records, not records that just dont "jump out". bah

wearyourwounds_ 3/2/2006 3:19:53 AM

oh and when i went to school a 6 was a bad score 6/10 = 60% = F

Coley Thrash_ 3/3/2006 1:43:09 AM

Dear Toomuchhuge, I think you misinterperated feters motivation to maintain a feeble adolescent argument. It's not that he can't verbally scrap on a level more akin to his age, it's that he understands that this is a forum. More importantly, a record review. This is based on opinion and the opinion of the reviewer only. To be upset enough to provoke an e-hissy fit on someones opinion is being childish. Putting your time and mental effort to retaliate to your liking is quite the contrary. I se

phil_ 3/3/2006 7:40:12 AM

is this a white power band?

LazioRoma_ 3/3/2006 11:37:56 AM

I must start by saying that calling this record "The Coors Light of stoner rock" is f*cking hillarious. I do think, however, that just because it's light years ahead of Om, Sunn, Sleep etc. with it's accessibility and likability for people into other realms of metal/rock they shouldn't be discredited for making a good record. I personally would rate this record at about a 7-7.5; and I agree with Feters that the vocals are best when they're his own. I think that as far as debut records go, thi

tiger_ 3/3/2006 1:02:50 PM

saw em with trail of dead not too long ago, nothing special really.... i'd say thats a pretty accurate review after hearing the cd as well.

superdave_ 3/7/2006 3:23:38 PM

This record is f*ckin great. all music sounds like other music... if it doesn't, it is usually terrible.

flying machine_ 3/12/2006 1:41:04 AM

construct me

Lukecubed_ 3/17/2006 9:16:02 PM

Thank you, Lambgoat, for educating me about metalheads, because apparently they wear panties, and get them all twisted in bunches when someone has the guts to call it like they see it. I'm not saying I agree with Rob, I've only heard two tracks (both of which I enjoyed, though not as much as HoF). But if you're so insecure about someone else disliking your new favorite record, it suggests that maybe your faith in its quality isn't quite so high. More to the point - this is f*cking rock and

issac_ 4/13/2007 9:36:50 AM

this band is sick!