Archive for Sword

Great Metal Albums of 1986: Sword- Metalized

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2020 by 80smetalman

Touring with Motorhead on their “Orgasmatron” tour in 1986, in the UK, was a little known band from Canada called “Sword.” Unfortunately, I didn’t see this great gig, but I wish I had. No use crying over spilt milk, I suppose. However, Sword’s support of Motorhead did get them some notice, enough that their single from their debut “Metalized” album got played at metal clubs in London. That song was “Stoned Again.”

I can see why it was released as a single. The catchy chorus with lyrics which probably caught the attention of the PMRC in the US definitely got my attention. In the late Autumn of 86, I found myself singing to myself, “God damn stoned again,” quite a lot. But it just wasn’t the amusing chorus, the guitar riff is one that has you banging your head away to it and there is a cool bass line at the intro and of course a cool guitar solo.

Insert tired cliche: one song doesn’t make an album and I can say that the rest of “Metalized” pulls its weight in support of the single. It starts with the opener, “F.T.W.” These days, some might say that the opening riffs to it are typical but back then, I loved those riffs. In fact, I still do!

Whoever wrote about this album on Wikipedia stated that the album explores the many subgenres of metal. Of course, back in 86, those subgenres were starting to emerge, so I didn’t really notice it. I still don’t really notice them now. True, the track, “Outta Control,” is a very fast speed metal song but I don’t think it’s enough to say that Sword were experimenting with thrash metal on it. While it makes me want to bang my head faster while I’m listening to it, it doesn’t have me searching for a mosh pit either. Besides, the following track, “The End of the Night,” is almost as fast. It does have some heavier chords and a great bass line.

What is good but a little frustrating about “Metalized” is the fact that the nine tracks apart from “Stoned Again,” are so good, that I find it nigh impossible to find the hidden gem. Many of the songs have something that makes them stand out, like the strong bass line or in the case of “Runaway,” a ear catching lead guitar intro and cool guitar solo in the middle. Listening to that track, that is nearly thrash as well, which makes me wonder why the writer on Wikipedia singled out “Outta Control” as the thrash song.

Apart from the small differences between the songs, they all have several things which in common which unite them. All songs have great power chords, cool guitar solos and great vocals. However, what stands out for me here is the bass playing Mike Larock. It really impresses me and while I wonder why Sword weren’t a more household name in the metal world outside The Great White North, I also wonder why Mike isn’t mentioned more among great bassists like Sheehan, Anthony, Burton, Lemmy and so on. (Feel free to add to this list.)

Track Listing:

  1. F.T.W.
  2. Children of Heaven
  3. Stoned Again
  4. Dare to Spit
  5. Outta Control
  6. The End of the Night
  7. Runaway
  8. Where to Hide
  9. Stuck in Rock
  10. Evil Spell
Sword

Rick Hughes- vocals, keyboards

Mike Plant- guitar, keyboards

Mike Larock- bass

Dan Hughes- drums

Listening to the debut album from Sword reinforces my belief that Canadian bands don’t get the respect they deserve. “Metalized” is a great album and I think that Sword should have been a household name beyond just 1986.

Next post: Saxon- Rock the Nations

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com