This being The Sword‘s fourth studio album, titled ‘Apocryphon’, sees the band continue their trademark heavy metal sound as developed in their previous albums. This is also the first release with new drummer, Santiago Vela III, along with it being the band’s first release on new record label, Razor & Tie.
Mainly, the album is nothing too different from previous efforts, with the band simply choosing to keep their trademark sound and dip into new directions, rather than adjusting the sound or adapting it in anyway. Song such as ‘Cloak Of Feathers’ and ‘Hawks & Serpents’ show this, with the heavy metal sound they have with direct influences coming straight from classic rock, in the vein of bands such as Thin Lizzy or Black Sabbath.
A band like The Sword are well known for their riffs, and they sure continue to deliver on ‘Apocryphon’. Both guitarists, John Cronise and Kyle Shutt, have managed to create all these catchy licks which is essential to The Sword‘s sound, especially on lead single ‘The Veil Of Isis’ and the previously mentioned ‘Hawks & Serpents’.
Being the first album to lack instrumentals and not to have concept theme throughout, it shows The Sword are able to write individual tracks that still manage to be both crushingly heavy and incredibly melodic without having an underlying theme, such as the transition Mastodon made with their latest studio effort, ‘The Hunter’.
However, the best thing about this album is that, as a whole, it’s consistently good, which thankfully seems to be a common theme with all The Sword albums to date. It’s obvious to see from opener ‘The Veil Of Isis’ all the way through to the album’s closing title track that the band have put effort into all the songs, avoiding filler at all costs.
A very solid album with several new influences dropping in and as mentioned sees The Sword successfully keeping themselves at the top of their game.
Written by Kieron Chastney