This here release, I will readily admit, I completely got because of the cover artwork alone. I being a artist, was hugely influenced by Conan The Barbarian, both in novel and comic form. All the artists that worked on the Savage Sword of Conan, definitely set me on my artistic path. So upon seeing this cover, album and song titles, I was like “Oh Yeah!” I must also report the music may be a bit misleading based solely on the epicness of the album art. You see, Barbarian Swords, do not play a brutal form of chaotic war metal ( ie. Bestial Warlust ) nor a epic, grandiose death metal (ie. Nile, Ade ) but a blackened doom that has moments of heavy style Asphyx riffing.
Hailing from Spain and they seem to be fairly new to scene, with beginnings from 2011, they bring forth a different form of heaviness to the table. It’s all bombastic funeral doom at times but with a healthy dose of black metal. I have a digital copy so I cannot positively say if lyrically it adheres to the Robert E. Howard theme of things but from the song titles, things seem to be a bit more varied in the subject matter, most can be judged by song titles alone. After the brief warrior themed intro, the band hurls straight into a almost black metal song “I’m Your Demise”, it’s not till about early through the mid point that the heavy cavernous doom element kicks in. The power of the drums, and the distorted drone of the bass bring together a huge wall of sound.
Musically it can be huge and dirty and taking in songs such as “Christian Worms” can bring you to your knees. It just has that heavy Asphyx vibe with the guitar, that heavy drone but vocalist Von Pax brings that more blackish scream. “Total Nihilism” also continues with the heavy vibe, the dive bombing guitar moments, but again the vocals take you down that different path. As said tho, listen to that guitar, where not quite up to Asphyx hugeness, it does get the point across.
Song number 6, “The Last Virgin”, begins much like the others but has a mid paced gallop going through the song to add some variety and also “Carnivorous Pussy” bringing some speed to the mix (ahem, amongst other things) “Pure Demonology” is almost black-end death n roll but next song “Christian Worms” dramatically changes pace to the doom spectrum. So keep in mind things can be a bit jarring in tempos and could be seen as a bit uneven for some listeners to the album as a whole.
Most of the songs are not too long in length and the longest being just about 18 minutes,( “Requiem“ ) and things are kept interesting and enough in its sonic variety, so this could make it more palatable for some first time listeners. Production is good with a slight dryness but man does that bass drone really rumble through the speakers at times.
Overall not a bad release and something a bit different (albeit a tad uneven) in its musical approach. Take a gander and listen over at their Bandcamp page and judge for yourself.[Visit the band's website]