Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sword ~ Sweet Dreams


(No official website.)
Style: heavy metal, Canadian
Label: Aquarius Records
Year: 1988
Home: Montreal (disbanded)

Members: Rick Hughes ~ vocals/keyboards
Mike Plant ~ guitar/keyboards
Mike Larock ~ bass
Dan Hughes ~ drums




The two albums by this Montreal area band have been lost in the shuffle in the landscape of 80's hard rock/heavy metal. As one reviewer said when they did a brief reunion & played a new song in 2011 ... who needs a Black Sabbath reunion when you have Sword? That just about says it all. A bit of Led Zeppelin & a lot of Black Sabbath in the guitar & arrangements & even the vocal stylings of both Ozzy Osbourne (i.e. "Sweet Dreams) & Ronnie James Dio (i.e. "Land Of The Brave", "The Trouble Is"), but without the distinctiveness of either singer. It's as if Black Sabbath skipped over their psyched out 70's days & Ozzy was singing the 80's songs that weren't so black & moody & a bit more of the era. It's fascinating, as there's a distinctiveness to the band, yet not at the same time. Perhaps the interesting thing is based on the fact that in 1988 a lot of bands were following the L.A. hair metal of Motley Crue with in your face teenage anthems. Sword are not a bunch of pretty boys in spandex. They are far more heavy & dark, yet not thrash or speed metal. Thus, in a strange way this becomes a great listen & a lost gem. It's imitative but not imitating what everyone else was doing. It's actually quite a solid & listenable album with some great riffs & interesting lyrics ... the Dio influence ... but they didn't find much success & the band folded soon after until a brief reunion. They've only released two albums & there's no regret in taking the effort to hunt them both up.



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