The Sword: Warp Riders (Kemado) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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The Sword

Warp Riders


Oct 05, 2010 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

The third album by this Texas metal quartet is a sci-fi concept album. Yes, I can hear you sighing, but all is not lost. First, the bad. The album’s theme revolves around an archer on a dying planet called Acheron. At the album’s start, the archer finds an orb that speaks to him about the properties of certain herbs and after he inhales “sacred smoke,” the protagonist begins his journey. He enters the land of darkness, guided by a witch, and beholds the apocalyptic struggle between good and evil before all is “reborn in flame.” The symbolism is not the deepest here (sacred herbs, darkness vs. light, fiery skies), and lines such as “His skin became a prison where suffers his soul” are nausea-inducing.

The good news here is that Warp Riders is musically tight, energetic, and full of life. In metal parlance: “it fucking rocks.” The general tone is Fu Manchu crossed with early Judas Priest, but some interesting diversity exists within this general template. “Astraea’s Dream” (sigh again) features some nice thrash and extended soloing. “Lawless Lands” is driven by almost funky rhythmic propulsion that drives the protagonist’s journey through the, you guessed it, lawless lands. “The Chronomancer II: Nemesis” (breathe deep, we’re almost there) gallops like Metallica’s “The Four Horsemen.” Basically, what it comes down to is whether you can get past the thematic and lyrical silliness. If so, Warp Riders is a hell of a trip. If notand truth be told, it’s difficultwait until The Sword’s next album. (

Author rating: 5/10

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