The Sword - Barfly, Camden
The time that The Sword spent touring with metal's reigning leaders Metallica seems to have had quite a profound effect on this retro-metal foursome. The musicianship and confidence which flows out of them bodes well for the release of their new album Warp Riders and tonight, within the sweaty confines of a sold-out Barfly, they give us a sneak peek at the aforementioned new record.
Bursting onto the stage in a hail of high power riffery and pounding drums, the band rip into the brilliant 'The Chronomancer I: Hubris' from the new album before following it up with 'Barael's Blade'. This is heavy-metal at its rawest and most rocking, with people throwing horns left, right and center. The majority of the first half of the set is made up of brand new tracks, and they slip easily in with the older songs, yet showcase a mastery of their sound not yet heard from them. Though most people here won't have heard any of these tracks, everyone is banging their head in approval.
Ending their set with 'Iron Swan', before returning to play 'The Frost Giant's Daughter' for the encore, it's refreshing to see such an accomplished and classically heavy band really enjoying what they do. As the pits subside and necks begin to stiffen from copious head-banging, what's clear tonight is that everyone here has had a damn good time.