CD Review of Gods of the Earth by The Sword
Recommended if you like
Priestess, Mastadon, Black Sabbath
Kemando Records
The Sword:
Gods of the Earth

Reviewed by James B. Eldred


hile Wolfmother got all the mainstream attention in 2006 for helping to bring back heavy metal, true headbangers knew the Sword did much for the genre that year than their Australian peers could have ever hoped. (They also know that metal never left, but that’s really neither here nor there.)

In that year, the Texas-based foursome kicked the collective metal nation on its ass with their intense debut album, Age of Winters. That album brought back a few things from the genre that many thought were on their way out, including grinding, sludge-covered riffs, extended classically-inspired solos, and long-winded lyrics about dragons, wizards and other mythological beings.

Now the Sword have returned with Gods of the Earth, a record of ear-shattering intensity that should work to build their legion of warrior followers to epic proportions. Get your twenty-sided die out, because it’s time to rock D&D style.

The cover art (a lightning-struck sword surrounded by cliffs, mysterious pillars, and a general sense of total awesomeness) should be proof enough the Sword haven’t backed away from the mythological themes that they became known for on Age of Winters. If anything, the group has embraced them even more.

Beginning with the pounding instrumental “The Sundering” before launching into “The Frost-Giant’s Daughter,” the Sword waste no time into setting a mythological mood on Gods of the Earth. Like many songs that follow it, “The Frost-Giant’s Daughter” tells the story of a lone warrior, bloody sword in hand, who has slain all of those who defy him.

And while that song doesn’t exactly beat around the bush with its violent imagery and tone, “How Heavy This Axe” takes that bush, beats the shit out of it, and then chops it to pieces: “So many men have fallen / So many more must die.” If Gimli from “The Lord of the Rings” had an iPod, this would totally be on his favorites list.

That’s pretty much the tone of Gods of the Earth. When the Sword isn’t telling grand tales of battles of death and destruction in mythical worlds, they’re shredding out mosh-worthy instrumentals like the destined-to-be-classic album closer “The White Sea.” This seven-minute journey into the depths of doom metal is so powerful, it will make you want to grab a broadsword and march into fiery blood-soaked battlefields. Once there, you’ll seek out your enemy, thrust your blade into his pathetic heart and, before you withdraw it and unleash a sea of blood that will cover his dying corpse, you’ll look into his eyes and yell without remorse, “Death to false metal!”

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