Using a palette of seven notes, The Sword have painted a magical rock album called High Country that swims in twisting waves of sound.
Bands can choose to stick with tried and true song structures and soundscapes or they can be bold and strike out into new realms. On High Country, The Sword chooses to be bold. High Country finds the band building on their Sabbath inspired rock roots with a trippy mix of psychedelic and glam rock inspiration.
Long-time fans looking for more tunes like â€œTres Brujasâ€ or â€œMaiden, Mother, & Croneâ€ may be a little concerned upon hearing the funky synth grooves within â€œUnicorn Farm.â€ It is a fun little number that leads into perhaps a telling statement within â€œEmpty Temples.â€ It is as if the band is telling us why they have changed things up a bit with lines such as â€œWe must give up the old ways, they have served us wellâ€ and â€œBut there is a new path, always has been.â€
This isnâ€™t to say that The Sword have given up on writing great riffs that rock. The synth work adds color and dimension to High Country. The heart of the music on this album still lies upon gripping song structure with overdriven guitars, popping drums, and pulsating bass lines. This is most evident on the title track â€œHigh Countryâ€ with Zappa inspired melodic lines sandwiched between big chunky riffs or on â€œMist and Shadowsâ€ which mixes chilled verse sections with groove-laden chorus and bridge.
The Sword steps out to experiment with synth sounds on â€œAgartha,â€ which could be the soundtrack to â€œLoganâ€™s Runâ€ and â€œSeriously Mysteriousâ€ which gave off a Devo vibe. Even though the music may have you looking for your platform shoes, the lyrics on â€œSeriously Mysteriousâ€ are intriguing, especially the line â€œEverything happens as it should. So take a look around and ask yourself, do I see nothing good.â€
A standout track on High Country is â€œSilver Pedals.â€ Itâ€™s a simple acoustic tune that features delicate arpeggios with just a bit of warm percussion. You feel the warm sun on your face as this gentle song washes over you.
High Country by The Sword is a bewitching album that will fill you with allure with each listen. It is an attractive mix of music that allows you to find treasures inside every note.