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The Sword: Show Preview 

Wednesday, Sep 29 2010

Austin's The Sword makes the case for a more inclusive interpretation of the term "stoner metal." Unlike most of the genre's, uh, torchbearers, it doesn't trade in slow, lumbering dirges; its doom is swift, merciless, and impeccably executed. (Not for nothing does the band's MySpace page liken its sound to "a bunch of bison being pushed over a cliff.") If not for the lyrics about mythical creatures and sacred smoke, you'd almost take the band members for humorless metalheads. Their third album, Warp Riders, released last month on Kemado, takes the band's über-heavy swagger in a few new directions, tempering the Black Sabbath worship with a little Thin Lizzy love, but underneath the ornamentation, it keeps the smoldering crunch of the group's early jams intact. Surrender to the riffage or go the way of the buffalo.

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Daniel Levin Becker

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