On June 24th, 2018, Texas doom metallers The Sword made their triumphant return to New York City’s Irving Plaza. While the group has toured many times throughout their career, it’s been thirteen years since they played at this venue when they supported their debut EP Freya. Six albums later, they have returned to support their latest effort Used Future, which was released this past March.
The Atomic Bitchwax
New Jersey stoner rockers The Atomic Bitchwax kicked off the night with their psychedelic grooves and progressive melodies. While they went into classic songs such as “Shit Kicker” and “Kiss the Sun,” they also surprised the audience by going into the Pink Floyd cover of “Pigs (Three Different Ones),” taken from 1977’s Animals. The group left the concertgoers hungry to hear more.
After a short break, it was time for The Sword to conclude the night. It could be argued that this group hasn’t released a bad song or album since 2006’s Age of Winters, which makes their setlist consistently enjoyable. Whether it’s their seamless guitar riffs, electronic beats, or soothing vocals, they always put on a mesmerizing performance and this night was no different.
They kicked off their set with “Seven Sisters,” from 2012’s Apocryphon as they eased the audience to 2018’s Used Future with “Deadly Nightshade.” Kyle Shutt looked comfortable on the stage as he continued to shred at ease while vocalist/guitarist John D. Cronise led each song with a natural organic flow. There was very little interaction between the band and the audience, which is something normal from the Sword. They tend to play as much music as possible instead of sparing extra time for chit chat. The night continued to surge with songs “High Country,” “Cloak of Feathers,” “Twilight Sunrise,” “Tears Like Diamonds,” Tres Brujas,” and “Lawless Lands.”
Towards the middle of their set, fans were able to get a natural high when The Sword went into “Dying Earth.” The concertgoers were at this point metaphorically stoned after getting lost in the song’s phenomenal instrumentation. This continued when they went into the new song “The Wild Sky,” and if you listen to these two tracks back to back, you will notice it’s unplanned symmetry. The night progressed with songs “Sea of Green,” and “Nocturne.” Shortly after, they gave their fans an acoustic taste from Low Country with “Buzzards” and “Ghost Eye.”
Essentially, you can say these Texas doom metal titans gave the audience everything they could ask for and if not, more. The rest of the set included tunes “Night City,” “Don’t Get Too Comfortable,” “Maiden, Mother & Crone,” “Used Future,” “Mist & Shadow,” “Book of Thoth,” T. Rex cover of “Children of the Revolution” and “To Take the Black.”
The Sword just concluded this leg of the tour. However, it’s not too late to see them as they will be back on the road later this month. In the meantime, pick up their new album Used Future you won’t be disappointed.