|Review: Blacksword - The Sword Accurst|
|The Sword Accurst|
Label: Echoes Of Crom Records
Year released: 2010
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: August 12, 2012
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
for:The Sword Accurst
Rated 4.05/5 (81%) (20 Votes)
Blacksword is a Russian band playing a style so ingrained in American 80s heavy metal that I usually forget their actual nationality while listening to them – it literally sounds like these guys could have been playing alongside Helstar, Prodigy and the rest of that scene back when Iron Maiden and Queensryche were the stars that every band steered by and the mighty riff ruled all. Of course, they’re not from that scene. But with the recent resurgence in traditional metal honor and glory, who can blame these Russian ruffians for trying their hand at the style? This is The Sword Accurst.
At 29 minutes this thing isn't exactly a lengthy album, and that's really its biggest flaw. With only about six real songs – with one interlude and one short ballad for the closer – this thing feels more like an EP than a real album, and the scanty length does start to feel a bit like you're just not getting enough. However, the quality is all very, very good.
Really this is sold by the riffs, and the sheer wild, flailing intensity with which the band flails them out. It's a damn fine exercise in good old riff mastery. Cuts like "Sword Arm" and the instrumental "Wild Horse" have some really good riffs that gallop and strut like the best of ‘em did in the glory days, and the 9-minute instrumental "Hovering Plague" is a layered, epic beast of a song that never gets dull, despite taking up over a third of this album's runtime...and the hammering "Stormbringer" rules too.
Blacksword don't exactly write hooks that will stick in your memory for days, and this is all in the mold of bands like Prodigy, Helstar and Skullview, whose main purpose wasn't to be catchy but more to churn out great, propulsive riff-driven songs. And at that, it does really well. This album is a lot of fun because the riffs drive along like drunken speedboats and just kill everything in their paths. But at the same time there's a lot of technicality to it all and the songs have enough tightness not to be rendered a sloppy mess – always a good thing in my book when a band can straddle the line between youthful exuberance and hardened technicality, which creates a sound that is double the fun for all that.
So if you like 80s metal, Blacksword will be your thing. They kick ass and although I wish there were one or two more actual full-length songs to pad this album out, the quality of The Sword Accurst is undoubtedly high. What more can I say except, go buy it from Echoes of Crom if you're a fan of any of the bands I've mentioned in this review. You'll probably really dig it like I did.
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