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Album Reviews : The Sword – Used Future

By on April 26, 2018

When we think of the pioneers of heavy metal/rock and roll so many different bands come to mind, from the dark evil sounds of Black Sabbath to the psychedelic storytelling Pink Floyd and finishing with the once thrash outfit of Metallica that inspired so many bands. Now as time rolls on it seems as though it’s time to pass the torch, and for years The Sword have been knocking at the door ready to continue the legacy as a monumental heavy metal band of all time.

Recently releasing their 6th full-length album in ‘Used Future’, The Sword are continuing on their way by doing whatever appeases their musical desires. Although fans were surprised with the softer and country inspired release of High Country in 2015, they still managed to write some of their best material to date albeit less heavy. This recent record takes a whole new direction but at the same time takes influence from the best parts of all their previous albums.

Based on the concept of a used future, this album revolves around the idea of waking up in a future where all hope is lost rather than our preconception that the future will be a shiny, technology-based wonderland. At the same time, ‘Used Future’ has so many influences within each song, with The Sword shining a new light on the styles we’ve loved since the 70’s and 80’s.

From the Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) style vocals in ‘Book of Thoth’, to the ZZ Top influenced opening riff in the title track, backed by the whole aura of the album which has pure feels of Floyd; Used Future is a culmination of nods to the past, with a distinct push forward on their own sound. It almost feels that The Sword are thanking the kings of rock that influenced them, whilst stamping their authority for both now and the future of music.

The album as a whole has a futuristic feel to it, which starts with the spacey prelude that weaves its way into the first track so well. The fourth track ‘The Wild Sky’ is where The Sword really starts to bring the feelings of their earlier records with a heavy, yet groovy instrumental.

Used Future continues to channel the Pink Floyd essence as the Intermezzo leads into a great change of pace with Sea of Green and closes with the futuristic feels with Nocturne. It may seem quite soft at times, but this album snaps you in and out of consciousness as it weaves between the heavy riffs and solemn space-like atmosphere.

The 8th track in ‘Don’t Get Too Comfortable’ takes a whole change of pace as it slows right down and is backed by a jazzy vibe and doesn’t take long before it picks up and the bands have you right where they want you.

The most impressive part of this album spurs from fantastic production which allows you to experience each band members astonishing musical ability. Santiago adds constant grooves on the drums, while Kyle and JD share absolute riffage and some beautiful solos only to be layered with the bass and synth sounds provided throughout by Bryan. No matter what sound The Sword go for, their songwriting and musicianship are so consistent which really shows why this band has been so successful for so long.

Each song on this album builds itself up, essentially building a wall of sound that surrounds you. The Sword have managed to create a range of tracks each with their own personality, but the album remains an experience as a whole as it closes with Reprise that is an extended version of the Prelude that opened the album. It’s a beautiful way to keep the album flowing, and much like the aspect of the emptiness and darkness of space and time, Used Future leaves you in a cycle that never ends – and at times you may not want it to.

Band: The Sword
Album: Used Future
Year: 2018
Genre: Heavy Metal
Label: Universal Music
Origin: USA