The Sword: Warp Riders

The Sword: Warp Riders
Austin, Texas based metal band, The Sword has delighted listeners with their combination of doom and stoner metal. On their third studio album, Warp Riders the band makes a conscious choice to incorporating more elements of hard rock.
Musically, Warp Riders is the least “metal” record The Sword has put out to date but that does not mean that the album does not have its moments. “Astraea’s Dream” reminds me of Doomriders but the track is merely an instrumental interlude between album sections. Although it is a full length track, clocking in at over three minutes, the track is not representative of the rest of the album.
The fact is the album has two strikes against it in my mind. First, it is a concept record. The Sword’s website has a detailed description of the storyline that the album tells. The website tells that the album chronicles the tales of “Ereth, an archer banished from his tribe on the planet Acheron”. After that I stopped reading because if I wanted science fiction I would have gone to see Battlefield Earth.
Strike two against the record is the vocals. The vocals border on 90s alternative rock on many tracks rather than what I would consider traditional metal singing vocals or some screaming. I suppose singing is better so listeners can understand the story.
With that said, musically the album is fantastic. Heavy, technically proficient metal filled with crunching guitars and explosive solos, what more could you want out of a metal album? In the end, the nerdy story and lackluster vocal performance are what really drags the album’s rating down.
Rating: 7.7/10
MP3: The Sword “Astraea’s Dream”
Buy: iTunes or Insound!