Austin, TX’s heavy metallers, The Sword, recently tore through Philadelphia’s Union Transfer venue along with Gypsyhawk and Eagle Claw with Blow The Scene on hand to deliver an exclusive batch of photos and show review for your viewing pleasure.
Recent addition to the Metal Blade Records roster, Gypsyhawk, started this bash with a bang. The band fuses a bluesy, desert-rock sound with plenty of energy and pizzazz that quickly found a warm reception from a diverse mix of Philly concertgoers. Gypsyhawk continue to support a new record on Metal Blade entitled, Revelry & Resilience. About.com raved about the record, stating “..Songs of unadulterated, no-excuses made, crank all four watts out of that car radio heavy metal. Gypsyhawk! Thank you and goodnight…”
Eagle Claw kept things moving with their patented blend of droning doom progressions and faster thrash riffs, as the band continues to support their sophomore album, Timing of the Void, which hit streets on October 30th via ECH Records. The Austin Chronicle commented on the album by stating “Sword touring partner Eagle Claw also rides a new horse across the landscape, axes aloft. Produced by the big brother band’s Bryan Richie, sophomore full-length Timing of the Void revels in an even more openly sensual guitar orgy. Moving forward a decade with its hero worship, the instrumental quartet seems to have spent its teenage years with a pile of Dio-era Sabbath and early Metallica tapes, letting bottom-heavy licks soak into impressionable brains.”
This show marked the second time we’ve had the pleasure of catching The Sword in Philly in recent months. This time out, the band had a full-scale light show and smoke machines with an awesome backdrop of new album, Apocryphon, by renowned comic book artist J. H. Williams III. The new album, which hit streets in October via Razor & Tie, has seen predominantly positive receptions with Allmusic.com commenting, “Apocryphon basically sees The Sword inching its well-established aesthetic along, slowly but surely; cautiously dabbling in new sounds rather than drastically altering their direction … operating less timidly and with more satisfying results than anything released since that classic first album..”
It was another solid performance by The Sword to be sure, but we’ve yet to figure out how the band has bridged the gap from mainly heavy metal connoisseurs to the college jock scene (that was on hand in numbers). Many were unhappily surprised when those same fans broke out a pit to one of The Swords’ slowest songs. Fans were not the only ones bummed out by the lack of mosh etiquette, according to Decibel Magazine and MetalInjection, The Sword does not want you moshing at their shows.
But no matter whether you were a longtime fan, newcomer, or just there for drinks, The Sword‘s new songs carried a packed venue through an energetic evening of great metal that sees the band entering a new phase of their career with an ever-shifting demographic of followers. The Sword is surely a band to keep an eye on as we head into 2013.
All photos by Blow The Scene Senior Staff Photographer, Dante Torrieri (Useless Rebel Imaging)