Some people say The Sword went to shit after drummer Trivett Wingo took off—and while his departure isn’t entirely to blame for their wimpier direction, it’s safe to say he’s moved on. Wingo’s new outfit, Funeralizer, sounds absolutely nothing like J.D. Cronise and company… so if you’re looking for “How Heavy This Axe, Redux” look elsewhere.
What we have here are 12 tracks of instrumental noise rock, clocking in at a total of 15 minutes. So it’s kinda like that time the Melvins toured with Napalm Death—if you put both bands on stage at the same time, then stuck ‘em in a giant blender. Mmm, Melvin Deathshakes…
This album kicks off with a bang, as “RIC” sets the tone with some frantic stop-start riffs for oh, about 75 seconds. “Single Entendre” throws a decent doomy riff in there, while “Vexed and Perplexed” does sorta sound like the Sword… if they played sub-two-minute instrumentals. “Kallista” channels Unsane for a minute twenty, while the band takes cues from The Locust on eight-second track “The Real Tragedy Would Have Been If Romeo and Juliet Had Lived”—a one-riff number that was over long before I finished typing its title.
Hey, this is a fun 15-minute listen, but with such short songs, it does feel more like a rehearsal riff tape than a fully fledged album.