|Classic Review: Sword - Metalized|
Label: Aquarius Records
Year released: 1986
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: August 26, 2001
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Rated 4.45/5 (89%) (20 Votes)
First album by this (unfortunately) short-lived Canadian metal band, Metalized is also regarded as their best effort, a couple of popular videos at the time having helped establish their name. Metalized is essentially 80's heavy metal in its purest form, and I'm NOT talking "hair metal" here! The album opens strongly with what is probably their best known song, "F.T.W.", this is the first song I've heard by the band, when I saw the video back in the 80's (you know, back when the metal video shows on TV didn't suck.) The song is a pretty good rocker that features strong drumming and some pretty entertaining and catchy guitar solos.
"Children of Heaven" is next, this one has a stronger vocal performance by Rick Hughes who hits the high notes quite a bit on this one. The vocals and the guitar work are what set this song apart from the opener. "Stoned Again" follows, another well known song by the band, and also one of my favorites. The catchy chorus is probably what made the song "popular"... For some reason, songs about being stoned are almost always popular. ;) This song is not as fast as the first two and the vocals are what really caught my attention here, as they dominate the song for pretty much all of its duration. Good display of the singer's vocal range here.
Next comes "Dare to Spit", this one a bit weaker than the others but still featuring great vocals by the lead singer. Even though I find the song weaker than the previous ones, it's still one hell of a song - there are no really weak songs on this album, period. "Outta Control" follows, opening very slowly for a couple of seconds and then going pedal to the metal, this is one of, if not THE fastest song on the album. Fast playing and singing, this one is a sure headbanger. In fact I'm too busy headbanging to write more about this particular song. ;)
"The End Of The Night" is next, opening on bass and drums quickly joined by the guitar. This one is musically pretty much along the same lines as "Children of Heaven", but without the high vocals. This is as close to a ballad as you'll get on this album (note that it is NOT a ballad - the singing is just "quieter" than on the other songs.) "Runaway" follows, opening on catchy guitar work that make the song recognizable in the first half second. I'm not too crazy about the way the chorus is sung on this one. The song is pretty fast and is another headbanger, but slower than "Outta Control".
"Where To Hide" is next, with the lead singer again making good use of high notes and displaying his ease to quickly switch between low and high pitch vocals. The song is mid to fast-paced, with constant, catchy guitar riffs, and some very good and very catchy solos. The next song, "Stuck in Rock" is pretty much mid-paced and features very good vocal work (yeah, again :)). The album closes on "Evil Spell", the darkest-sounding song on the album, appropriate title actually! Very different (and still good) vocal work on this one, the chorus is VERY catchy and just gets stuck in my head.
If I had to describe the album in one word, it would be "catchy" - but don't let that make you think it is commercial stuff either. 80's metal is usually catchy while not necessarily appealing to the masses, and Metalized is a good example of a good balance between pure metal and catchiness. Good stuff. The album is not necessarily easy to find nowadays, but try to hunt it down, it's worth it.
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