The band infamous with sounding like Black Sabbath has defiantly changed that with this new release. Following up 2012’s highly acclaimed album Apreocryphon, The Sword have unleashed their new album High Country.
High Country separates itself from their past releases with a more diverse selection of songs; taking influence from a large amount of different genres and producing an album were one song will not sound like the other. Normally this can hurt the cohesiveness of an album, and this is true for this album, however the band does pretty well with blending songs into the other. The band has left their comfort zone, and the comfort zone of some fans who may be disappointed by this album.
This album varies in success however; some songs really hit the right notes whilst some others just fall flat. A band that experiments out of their comfort zone and has so many different songs on an album is something that is bound to happen.
Fear not metal heads, there are still some heavier tracks on this album with some great power chords and explosive riffs, songs like “Suffer No Fools” and “Empty Temples” are good examples of this. The band has traded their heavier sound for more variety and melody, only using heavier elements for a few parts of this album witch a few fans may find disappointing.
The instrumentation on this album is a lot broader than anything this band has produced. However the song writing on this album is still pretty solid for the most part. There are a few duds on this album but that is to be expected when a band that has been around for so long decides to change their formula.
The length of this album is nearly an hour with 15 tracks and it can sometimes be overwhelming, so I advise listening to the album at a slower pace. Digesting all the new variety in the songs may be a bit hard on a first listen. However on a whole I feel that this diversity hurt the band and this album is full with way to many filler tracks that did not need to be included. I appreciate the experimentation with their sound but overall this album just lacks a cohesive sound and theme to it. This albums feels like a transition for the band and it will be interesting to see were their next release takes them.
Written by Rhys Prka
Fav Tracks: Seriously Mysterious, Unicorn Farm, Buzzards, Suffer No Fools
Least Fav: Agartha, Silver Petals, Dust
Release Date: 21st August