The Sword from Austin, Texas, have been active since 2003. So far, they have produced five studio albums and supported bands like Metallica and Lamb of God on tour. When they started out they played doom metal. However, their sound has changed over the years, and their new album Used Future features music that might best be classified as a combination of seventies rock and stoner rock, with a bit of psychedelia here and there.

Used Future has instrumental tracks, as well as songs with vocals. A lot of the material could pass as film music or as part of a soundtrack to a seventies movie or TV-series, especially the songs Don’t Get to Comfortable and Sea of Green. Friends of stoner or Desert rock will probably like Deadly Nightshade and Book of Thoth best. Those two are also my favourites among the tracks with vocals, particularly Deadly Nightshade, because of the mantra-like singing.

The album’s lyrics are well written and deal with a range of subjects. Don’t get too comfortable, for example, talks about the fact that change is a constant and that we continually have to adopt to it. The title song Used Future states that what lies ahead often holds nothing new, only recycled experiences, and that the hopes we put in our future frequently turn out to be false.

The best piece of music on the album, if you ask me, is the instrumental The Wild Sky. You can imagine it a bit like an impro jazz session, where first one instrument plays a tune, then another one repeats is, then they play it together and so forth. The exciting thing here is that the whole composition revolves around the drums. It sounds very dynamic and powerful. It has also a more innovative character than the rest of the album. I like it a lot. If you want to check out one track from the album, let it be this one.

The album’s cover features a car in a salt desert, a thunderstorm brewing in the background. The car, a Mad-Max-style ride, looks retro and futuristic at the same time. Interestingly, you could say the same thing about the album’s music.

For fans of stoner rock, Desert rock, seventies rock and Led Zeppelin.

(7,5/10 Slavica)