October 9, 2015
Gas Monkey Live!
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Justin Press
Photos by Michael Insuaste
The Sword - The Sword, Kadavar
Purveyors Of Cosmic Metal Boogie Aim For The Stars And Hit The Moon
Opening up a 50-city anything is a task for even the mightiest of men, thankfully Austin's The Sword and their tour mates Kadavar and All Them Witches are made from the finest of oak and up for the campaign. The venue of choice for this evening, Gas Monkey Live in Dallas, Texas.
Coming on the heels of their latest release High Country, an album that is more Atlanta Rhythm Section than ZZ Top by way of early 70's slab rock. A bit more reserved in its bombast but no less butt shakin', The Sword entered stage right via the spacey intro of "Unicorn Farm" before going full on with the disc opener "Empty Temples," the table was now set for the feast to unfold. Newer slice and dice tracks like "Tears Like Diamonds" and 'Buzzards" melded with older classics like "Tres Brujas" and the killer "The Maiden, The Mother, The Crone." Guitarist Kyle Schutt hosts the ghost of the Reverend Billy Gibbons while guitar/vocalist John Cronise delivers the goods in that unaffected tone that infects Austinites.
The Sword is like their Southern Central Texas homelands, vast and full of grandeur but when they want to land a punch they are pure Houston. The swing and savior faire of "Seven Sisters" is part stoner, R&B, crooner and slithers like a diamondhead looking for a shade rock. The mid-section of the song is like the Moody Blues entered into the room and smoked all the grass. The consistent LED graphic of the new album artwork mixed with constellations and hazy lighting left one a bit stoned while soaking in all these riffs that made you feel like Sabbath's Vol 4 record was a living thing.
The title track "High Country" conjures up "Cherokee Nation" by Cher before it rolls up its sleeves and become full on disco metal custom made for tail gating and beer bongs at the Moon Tower. How unfair is it that a band can deliver two gems like "The Horned Goddess" and 'Freya" yet still have enough left in the tank to drop 'Clock of Feathers" on your noggin. The Sword wield their metal riffs like King Arthur and his Blade of Eights.
Berlin's Kadavar is a power trio in the grand tradition of Trapeze, Cactus and Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush. Blasting the audience with tasty licks from their latest album Berlin, the three-piece led by guitarist/vox Chris Lindemann who is the right-handed apprentice to Tony Iommi delivered their psych/stoner/power approach like a Panzer division. Ginger-haired, reed thin drummer Christoph Barteit is Ginger Baker meets a frenzied Keith Moon, what he did with a 5-piece kit was just ridiculous. If Buddy Rich lived like a wolf, then the comparison would be appropriate. If you want a brief introduction to this tsunami of sound check out the track "Last Living Dinosaur" off of Berlin. You'll sell all your worldly possessions and move to the woods as you try to escape this demon.
Unfortunately the opener All Them Witches was not reviewed due to time constraints. But please do investigate their diabolical Doors meets Sabbath hard rock offerings.