Renowned Texan rockers The Sword have had one of the most exciting careers in any band’s career. With a great catalogue of five full-length records that have been highly regarded by critics and fans across the globe, The Sword still have more to deliver from the skillset that lies in their own hands. That being said, The Sword promised their return to the studio, and have given us a fresh dosage of what they’re still about to this day with their sixth LP “Used Future”, through Razor & Tie.
The Sword seemed to have brought along a lot of elements that shaped their previous record “High Country” into “Used Future”. Meaning that there aren’t really any fixings of metal, but more hard rock-ish kind of undertones. But that’s definitely not a bad thing, as “High Country” still worked out to be a stellar and risk-worthy album for The Sword. While that’s the case, The Sword still maintain their traditional stoner sound, going a step and a half up from their old C Standard tuning.
Deadly Nightshade was presented to the world as the formal introduction to what The Sword had prepared for the world to see and hear. But tracks such as Sea of Green, Don’t Get Too Comfortable, Book of Thoth and Twilight Sunrise really capture a new essence of The Sword’s latest approach in the studio. What you hear in these tracks somewhat pick up where The Sword left off with “High Country” in terms of the aura and personality represented lyrically and musically.
And of course, it’s not a Sword album without a few instrumentals in the mix. However, The Sword have executed more unexpectedly diverse instrumentals that feature Asian-inspired components along with some synth work on Nocturne, whereas a more classic jam rock number entitled The Wild Sky takes place earlier in the album. Brown Mountain also follows a similar pattern, but less jam, more progressive-based desert rock, with a wandering traveller feel to it.
From what I’ve been able to pick up in “Used Future”, The Sword grab hold of some country-inspired sensations that follow through with some blues rock, while carrying the same stoner rock persona that The Sword have held dearly to their music. Another aspect that sits in well with “Used Future” is the cinematic undertones that were brought into the sensation of the LP, which also stems from the band’s 2010 album “Warp Riders”.
“Used Future” is not quite a metal record, but it significantly honours the many early icons of the genre that the band have prominently looked up to since the first initiation of their career. If you’re someone that doesn’t fear a bit of change and have always been loyal to The Sword, this will sit with you quite well as it has with me. The title may be “Used Future”, but from what The Sword have done here, they’ve brought metal’s past into the future and have revitalised it in a method that would make the 70s and 80s proud.
You can pre-order ‘Used Future’ out on March 23rd via Razor & Tie HERE!