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Austin, TX is a proverbial musical hotbed known by anyone entrenched in the music scene, and it happens to be where The Sword, a retro metal outfit extraordinaire, hails from. Thick on the Sabbath, heavy on the doom, hard on the Soundgarden, and sucking up to Ď70s dinosaur rock acts gone by, AGE OF WINTERS is the metal album that hipsters will embrace, but metalheads will herald long after the novelty buzz has packed up and gone. Why? Because this quartet has boned up on how to create droning rhythms and then speed them up to breakneck paces, how to whip up an ominous aura of mystery and intrigue by using only bass, guitar, drums, and vocals, and because above all, they transcend anything trendy and hit you right between the eyes with an acerbic metal force not heard since Ozzy was booted from Sabbath. Huge guitars, thick rhythms that run like freshly tapped molasses straight from the tree of woe, and a vocal assault bursting with galactic importance are all championed here, so if youíre looking for the perfect accompaniment for your High on Fire and Slayer collection, this is it. Fuck the fact that the bandís label is uber trendy, this throwback quartet hit harder than the countless bands scraping the bottom of the metalcore barrel and are worth every minute of your time, even if they have a penchant for writing about demons and wizards. A metallic triumph through and through.
- Mike SOS