Before you’ve listened to a band, looking at which bands they tour with can be a big indicator as to what sort of style the band have. Sworn In are currently touring the US with Bleeding Through and Winds Of Plague amongst others, so this tells us that this band are heavy with a capital H. ‘The Death Card’ is a record that seems to breed some amount of contempt towards the world. Basically, Sworn In are pretty angry and they want us all to know about it.
The guitar riffs on second track, ‘Hypocrisy’, are instantly noticeable and screech just as much as you’d expect. The chugging soon follows, but so does the background chimes that are almost reminiscent of a call to prayer in some corner of the world. The vocals are brash and range from quick bars to angst-filled shouts. It’s on the subsequent track, ‘Mindless’, that we hear how catchy the band can deliver choruses, as the one from this song really feels natural and surprisingly mainstream.
There’s a track called ‘A Song For The Nameless’, which has a great gig feel to it, you can imagine it’d be a crowd pleaser at the band’s live shows. It isn’t really a record which is focused on pushing the boundaries of this genre as far as you can tell, but it’s like watching a solid scare-filled horror film. You know what you’re letting yourself in for and it’s exactly as expected, nothing more and nothing less.
‘The Death Card’ is just that really, it strikes of a band knowing exactly what they want from their sound and assuredly knowing what buttons to press in terms of their fan base. There’s a hell of a lot of rage on this record and a ton of moshing will come of it as the band endlessly tour to promote it. It’s a record which should be heard, as it’s much better than plenty of the dross that plagues the genre.
Written by Greg Spencer