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Review: Overdrive - Swords and Axes
Swords and Axes

Label: Reborn Classics
Year released: 2022
Originally released in: 1984
Duration: 1:13:38
Tracks: 15
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 2.5/5

Review online: March 28, 2022
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Swords and Axes

Rated 3.75/5 (75%) (4 Votes)

The reissues keep coming, this one being Swords and Axes, the second full-length album from Sweden's Overdrive, originally released back in 1984. I remember seeing this one as I prowled record stores and flea markets, along with the band's debut, because of the awesome cover art of a space Viking cleaving the earth with his sword, but I never owned it so this is my first time hearing the band. Given the vintage it should be no surprise this is simple, straightforward heavy metal clearly inspired by the NWOBHM and bands like Iron Maiden and Accept. These Swedes had the fire to play heavy metal, but their skills were average at best and that applies to both the songwriting and the performances. Swords and Axes is full of chugging guitars and passable vocals with typical subject matter as you can easily divine from titles like "Fighting Man," "Burn in Hell" and "Living in Sin." There is very little that is memorable until the instrumental "Ode to Juliet," which has quite a pretty melody but leads into the terrible "Broken Hearted" which is dull, and the singer is really out of his depth. A lot of reissues come with bonus material and Swords and Axes is no different. However, all six of the bonus tracks are instrument rehearsal jams consisting of utterly generic '70s hard rock/proto-metal riffs that might have come from any number of less famous groups like Golden Earring or April Wine. At the end of the day, Swords and Axes wasn't a very good album when it was new in 1984 and this reissue's bonus material isn't bringing anything interesting to the party, so unless you are an '80s completist and don't already own it, I can't see much point in owning this reissue.

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