Sword – “Metalized” (1986)

If you can’t at least appreciate what Sword was all about then maybe heavy metal isn’t for you.  There were plenty of heavy metal sub-genres that originated in the eighties, including glam, death, thrash, and speed.  But at the beating heart of it all, there was just plain old HEAVY METAL.  And that is where Sword lived; hitting you straight between the eyes.  Some bands lacked talent, so they dressed up all pretty and made pouty, kissy faces.  Not Sword.  Some bands lacked song writing ability, so they played louder and faster to mask their deficiencies.  Not Sword.  Some bands lacked spirit and emotion, so they blinded you instead with technical wizardry.  Not Sword.  Some bands lacked a good singer, so they yelled and growled and feigned “brutality”.  Not Sword.  With Sword, there were no gimmicks, no mascots, no naked chicks on the cover, no pentagrams, no dragons, and no lady clothes.  Sword were a four piece Canadian band with pounding drums, heavy riffs, and the superb testosterone-fueled voice of Rick Hughes.  Metalized was the first of two killer albums by this overlooked quartet.  Should-be classics include F.T.W., Children Of Heaven, Stoned Again, and Stuck In Rock.  Every metal fan should know about Sword.  There were thousands of metal bands that came out in the eighties, and even I (a super-fan) will admit that most of them aren’t worth your time.  Not Sword.  My score: A-

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