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The Sword Accurst
November 2010
Released: 2010, Echoes Of Crom
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

This is the second home-run in a row for the fledgling label, Echoes Of Crom. In what is becoming hopefully a traditional feature in future releases the liner notes are penned by label owner, Howie Bentley (Briton Rites, Cauldron Born). Howie discusses how the label was initially just for his own projects. What made him change his mind? Russia’s Blacksword! I can see why. These guys have got it all.

Lead by main composer and bassist, Ivan the Viking, Blacksword have been fighting the metal wars for a couple of years on one the world’s northernmost fronts, namely Siberia. Their debut album on Howie’s US-based label should bring these guys some well-deserved exposure.

Classic, US style Metal is what is served up on this 8-song platter. From the bands name, the lyrical matter, the cover art, everything is steeped in tradition and respectful of metal’s past. Blacksword aren’t too progressive, too elaborate, too frantic, they just have found a great sound and song-writing style. Musically they are reminiscent of perhaps older Virgin Steele and maybe some Slough Feg in the mix.

Vocally Serge Konev really brings some energy and excitement to the vocals. He has some good range, on the higher end ,but also some grit and punch. He has a very enthusiastic delivery which I have always admired in Metal vocalists especially when singing lyrics of epic tales based on classic, fantasy literature. The songs are well constructed, interesting and chock full of good riffs and mostly in the three minute range except for what might be the center-piece of the record, the 9-minute epic ‘Hovering Plague’.

The album is a little short in half-an-hour but that’s just a sign I wanted to hear more and I suppose the old adage fits, ‘leave ‘em wanting more’. I do want more and I can’t wait to hear what Blacksword do next. The album was recorded in 2008, so with any luck for us we will see a longer album in the next year.
Track Listing

1. Sword Arm
2. The March
3. Wild Horse
4. The Predatory Divine
5. Hovering Plague
6. Wistful Gaze
7. Stormbringer
8. Elric's Pride


Sergey Konev - Vocals
Alex Avdeev - Guitar
Artyom Omelenchuk - Guitar
Ivan the Viking - Bass
Vyacheslav Aparin - Drums

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