For those not ‘in the know’, Canada’s heavy metal lovin’, broad-sword swinging Sword have been around since the 1980s. Both their bloody marvellous debut Metalized (1986) and follow-up, Sweet Dreams (1988), were prime slices of metal steak – tasty as fuck, cooked to perfection and nice with potatoes.
They disbanded in the mid 90s (fuck you grunge!) and while they re-grouped in 2011 it’s not until now that we have been blessed with a third album – the ingeniously titled, III.
And, not much has changed. Which is a good thing.
These guys were churning out high quality metal when thrash was in its ascendency…and that’s exactly what they’re doing now. Prevailing trends don’t mean shit to these guys.
Frontman Rick Hughes has still got the lungs and Sword are happy to bang out another set of trad metal tunes that give the man plenty of room to strut his lovely stuff.
Some lyrical missteps aside (“Dirty Pig” can be a little on the cringey side), Sword sound pretty fresh and there’s still a streetwise approach to their rough n’ ready brand of old-school metal. While III is never going to achieve the cult status afforded to Metalized we couldn’t help but grin when “Unleashing Hell” blasted out of the gates and, for a short while there, everything was right in the world once again.
Don’t overthink it, go along for the ride and embrace the fact that Sword are back and doing what they do best….playing heavy fuckin’ metal! 7/10
Sword‘s III is due for release on November 25th, 2022 via Massacre Records