The Sword are getting mature, a development that lots of people use to lay back and relax a bit. The stoner-metal-heads from Austin, Texas have a quite different view considering matureness. Apocryphon is less thrashy than its predecessors: their stoner-metal is more straightforward, or let’s call it “easier to follow”, but still very agile and filigree, with the songs standing before the concept this time.
Yet, experiments like psychedelic parts, jam-like passages of even electronic intros (Turbowolf’s Let’s Die says hello in the closing song) are still very welcome in The Sword’s sound, which feels like a symbiosis between Age of Winters and Warp Riders, featuring a new drummer who does a considerable job, well harmonising with the bass. For the rest, the familiar stoner songs rotate with those of the metal species, sometimes even combined with a nice portion of blues, as can be heard in The Hidden Masters.
As already mentioned, The Sword displays the “less is more” credo, which especially benefits the stoner lovers amongst the listeners, being supplied with more riffs and less speed (which doesen’t mean at all that they have become “slow” in any way). The quartet of course hasn’t changed into a Kyuss tribute band, or something like this. Classic metal is still omnipresent, call it “Black Sabbath-esque”, or call it “Ozzy-ish”, or whatever The Sword have been compared to since they have shown up, their signature is still kept up.
For those, who love the thrashy parts, Apocryphon may be some kind of disappointment. For those, who are more in favour of stony and groovy metal, this album will be worth a buy.
Recommendations: The Veil Of Isis, Cloak Of Feathers, Apocryphon