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The Sword: Used Future

Album number six by The Sword, titled Used Future, sees the Texas four piece moving even further away from their doom roots, a trend we saw start to blossom with their 2015 release Hard Country. With Used Future, The Sword's evolution into a modern day hard rock band now seems complete, with little bits of stoner/psychedelic rock flavors hanging on just a tad to partially satisfy the bands older fans who are perhaps barely hanging on at this point. To put it bluntly, if you dug the bands earlier doom laden & riff heavy material, Used Future sees the band veering more into Rival Sons territory, the guitar riffs carrying far less fuzz as the guys settle into '70s styled hard rock territory as opposed to bruising Black Sabbath influenced stomp. Despite lack of 'heft', Used Future succeeds exactly as it sets out to; this is just a very solid, old school hard rock album, packed with a batch of memorable songs that are thoughtful, well conceived, contain plenty of groove, and rock.

"Deadly Nightshade" and "Twilight Sunrise" kick off the album in upbeat fashion, the hooks ever present, the riffs gritty, and the grooves massive. There's a bluesy, psychedelic element that permeates these tunes and much of the album, as you'll hear on the experimental, jammy "The Wild Sky", complete with effects soaked guitars, synths, and rumbling drums. "Sea of Green" wouldn't sound out of place on a Gov't Mule album, and "Nocturne" ventures clearly into progressive rock waters, as if the band have been listening to their old Pink Floyd records a bit in recent months. In fact, there's little if anything here that would classify as 'metal', the title track as close to a mainstream Southern rock song as The Sword have ever recorded, and "Come and Gone" again mixes jangly Lynyrd Skynyrd/Marshall Tucker Band styled guitars over atmospheric psych/prog arrangements. The heaviest tune is easily "Book of Thoth", a rumbling Blue Cheer/Mountain styled thumper with a touch of fuzz on the guitars and a percolating groove which, sadly clocks in at under 3-minutes. The longest track on the album is the instrumental "Brown Mountain", a real eye opener as far as seeing just how far The Sword are willing to go from their lumbering beginnings. Combining post/desert rock, psychedelia, the blues, and prog, this is The Sword as we've never seen them before, and it will be interesting to see how far the band take some of these elements that have popped up on this album on future recordings.

Used Fortune is without a doubt, a strange yet oddly satisfying album, and sure to divide their longtime fans even further. Other than a few hard rockers, much of the album is atmospheric and floats along, the band veering off into all sorts of interesting directions, many of which we would never expect from them. Does it all work? Some of it does, some I'm still unsure of yet, but you have to give them credit for wanting to take some chances and evolve their craft into alternate musical explorations.

Track Listing
1. "Prelude" 0:26
2. "Deadly Nightshade" 3:00
3. "Twilight Sunrise" 3:07
4. "The Wild Sky" 3:34
5. "Intermezzo" 1:32
6. "Sea of Green" 5:37
7. "Nocturne" 4:03
8. "Don't Get Too Comfortable" 4:13
9. "Used Future" 4:21
10. "Come and Gone" 3:38
11. "Book of Thoth" 2:50
12. "Brown Mountain" 5:25
13. "Reprise" 1:40

Added: May 1st 2018
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1362
Language: english

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