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Gods of the Earth

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(38 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • Being a fan of Electric Wizard and old Kyuss, this band was recommended to me by a friend whose opinion I trust. The trust remains. This disc is wonderful. In parts it reminded me of old Pentegram, and the production retains a great bassy foundation without sacrificing the high end. The song writing is tight, and when the rare solo appears it serves the song well.
    I’m also a bit prejudiced beacuse I just saw them last night (May 16) in Philly. Their stage sound is almost as good as their studio sound.

    Posted on December 25, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Great second release, a bit different from the first album but i like it nonetheless. My favorite song is “To Take The Black.” You will especially like this album if you are a fan of George RR Martins books. I just cant get enough of this great bone crunching sound.

    Posted on December 25, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • The heavy metal hardcore hates it when a band comes from outside the scene to do metal.

    They hate it double when that band gets a deal with a large label.

    They hate it triple when the band does metal better than the bands that grew from inside the scene.

    The heavy metal hardcore hates The Sword.

    They listen with their prejudices, not their ears. This band has grown a pair since their last album. They now have their own very distinctive sound, heavier, rawer and faster than the Sabbathian debut. Indeed, there is improvement on every level. Every instrument sounds better; and while the singer will never be great, he has found himself now and fronts the band with aplomb. When you have riffs like this, the singer doesn’t need to carry the band. He just needs to carry his own weight. He does it just fine.

    It sometime happens that “borderline” metal bands, bands from outside the scene, make the best metal, because they bring a new perspective. The Sword is the best American doom metal band since Danzig, and that’s saying something.

    If you don’t like them for some kind of philosophical reason or because they’re too popular, that’s your loss. This sounds like true metal to me.

    Posted on December 25, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I’m not a big fan of metal by any means but I love The Sword. Their metal riffs are amazing and there is something about their music that I just can’t resist. If you liked their first album you’ll love this album. Don’t hesitate to buy now.

    Posted on December 25, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • As if their name and albums weren’t enough to tip you off, the Sword like to do two things: make references to myths and fantasy, and blast your ears off with eruptions of fiery metal.

    And in their second album “Gods of the Earth,” this Austin band proceeds to do both — but with greater intensity than in their debut. Not only do they have Black-Sabbath-style muscle and power that sweeps you off like a tidal wave, but also a wild flexibility that only promises to become more hypnotic in the future.

    The first song eases you into the music with a nimble, quiet guitar melody… right before that swell of thunderous bass explodes onto the scene, and it turns into a full-fledged metal anthem. But from the way they play it, you can tell that this is just the buildup.

    It’s followed by the epic buildup and rapid ascent of “How Heavy This Axe,” a blazing war anthem (“So many men have fallen/So many more must die/Cut down like wheat beneath the scythe!”), and “Lords’” tight knifelike riffs twined with heavy grimy clouds of bass. And, of course, lyrics that sound like they were written for some enormous high-fantasy novel (“The dukes of the marches have ordered their archers/To shoot all outlanders on sight”).

    So you have a pretty good idea of what the remaining songs are going to be, and the Sword rushes on through them like a brush fire. A rollicking hard-rocker that simultaneously sounds like a stampede and a car revving, a meditative folk-metal anthem, blazing yowlfests, tribal metal, eruptions of accelerating bass and wild upward-spiraling riffs.

    By the time you get to “The White Sea,” you’ll probably feel kind of dizzy. Fortunately the album finally slows to a stately dark cloud of grimy bass, with one outburst of wailing riffs near the end.

    When you get down to it, all the songs on here sound like the soundtrack to some heavy-metal fantasy movie, with a heavy dose of Norse mythology — lots of bloody battles, mythical goddesses, destroyed ruins, wizards, damsels, legends, creepy forests, and fantastical/mythic stuff like that. And they’ll happily blow your ears off too.

    “Gods of the Earth” is just as wild, heavy and rock-hard as the Sword’s debut album, but they rev up the tempo with this one — just listen to the speed of “Under the Boughs.” We get raw, rough, intertwined basslines race along at sixty MPH, pausing occasionally for the sharp-edged electric riffs, elaborate acoustic bits, and some solid drumming. But the powerful bass playing is what really pushes this epic, fast-moving music along.

    JD Cronise’s voice gets a bit buried in the mix, but he yowls nicely when you can hear him. The lyrics are probably the weakest point. They’re colourful and evocative (“They come with teeth and tusks and talons/They come with horns and hooves and claws/A wailing cry is heard deep within the forest…”) but their lyrics get very stilted at times (“Our legends tell of weapons/Wielded by kings of old/Crafted by evil wizards/Unholy to behold”).

    In fact, they’re at their strongest when they don’t try too hard, such as in the relatively simple “Maiden, Mother and Crone”: “Walk not down that road/I can not tell you where it goes/Ask me no more questions/Some things you weren’t meant to know.”

    “Gods of the Earth” suffers from some awkward lyrics, but their muscular, blazing, D&D-geeky brand of metal is almost powerful enough to drown that out. Definitely worth hearing.

    Posted on December 25, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now