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  #1  
Old 12-14-2010, 08:03 PM
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Natrlhi Natrlhi is offline
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The Sword -- Cleveland, OH -- December 8th, 2010

Venue: House of Blues
Source: Yours truly


So here is the belated set list and gig report for this show.

Short back story: I was actually thrilled when I heard that the tour had to be postponed and re-scheduled due to the departure of The Sword's drummer - not because the original drummer was bad, but because I wasn't able to make the original date for the show. As the tour dates were re-scheduled, it wasn't immediately obvious whether Karma to Burn would be added back to the bill (they were as much a part of the reason I had originally wanted to attend as The Sword was). However, when Karma was finally confirmed, and then I found out I could actually make this date, I was super-stoked. It felt like things had worked out perfectly...for a reason. [/backstory]

So anyway, I was really geared up for this show because I have wanted to see the reunited Karma to Burn ever since Appalachian Incantation came out. The album is a rager, by the way. If you like (mostly) instrumental stoner rock that's packed to the fucking gills with killer riffage, then this album is for you. I defy you to not bang your head to it.

Anyhow, K2B's touring line-up (which is the same as their album line-up...more on that later) is now a four-piece with vocals. The original power-trio line-up of guitarist William Mecum, bassist Rich Mullins and drummer Rob Oswald is now complemented by vocalist / guitarist Daniel Davies. For those of you thinking to yourselves, "wait, isn't that the exact same line-up as Year Long Disaster?" The answer is yes. Apparently, the two projects will be folded into one soon, as the foursome is working on a new album (three songs of which were played during this show), and my guess is that they will be keeping the Karma to Burn moniker.

At any rate, on to the music. In short, these guys absolutely fucking killed it. They are a perfect opener for a band such as The Sword, because frankly, they play very similar music, just primarily without vocals. Thus, they get people's heads banging bigtime but they don't detract from what The Sword is about to do because the (almost) lack of vocals makes them different from the headliner. They played stuff from their two best albums: 2001's "Almost Heathen" was covered first, and then they went a bit further back to 1999 for some tracks from "Wild, Wonderful...Purgatory" - interspersing some of the new material in between. Of course, the perennial "20" closed the headbanging festivities with a knockout punch. That song fucking rocks so hard - especially now, with not one but two guitar parts raging in full effect. Holy fuckballs.

This was their set:

Karma to Burn
19
36
"Jimmy Dean" (new)
47 (new)
34
"Cynic" (new)
32
28
20

...and then came The Sword.

So like I said, their original drummer Trivett Wingo had to leave the band just five dates into the original tour, but the band quickly enlisted the help of Kevin Fender for touring duty, and as far as I'm concerned, they should offer this guy a full-time job. I mean, if I wasn't aware of the back story behind their drummer, I would have sworn that this guy was around when the songs were written, and had possibly even helped in the writing process himself. He was that good.

So drumming aside, the rest of the band was fantastic as well. As I mentioned above, The Sword's songs are just chocked full of riffs, and whether you think the somewhat milder direction that the new album seems to have taken is better or worse than their old material, one thing is for sure: The Sword have not forgotten that big, bad riffs are their raison d'Ítre as well, and the entire set - from new stuff to old stuff - was just packed full of fist-pumping, slam-dancing, head-banging goodness.

I've heard it said that there are other bands out there who do what The Sword does better than The Sword, but I would beg to differ. There may be bands such as Wolfmother who have more of a mainstream curb appeal or Sabbath-like tendencies, or bands who are heavier and more bombastic than The Sword, or whatever, but I would argue that this group of guys strikes just the right balance of Sabbath-ness, not-too-heavy-but-certainly-not-fucking-weak, bang-your-head, rifftastic songs about fighting and mythology and space travel and whatnot...to make them just a little different from the rest of the pack of bands who are clamoring to cash in on the current craze for stoner rock / metal. The Sword is heavy - at times, REALLY heavy. Their songs are fun to listen to and headbang to - and obviously, judging by the crowd - worthy of some major moshing. Most of all, their songs are MEMORABLE...and so was this show.

So for my money, this show was a very nice one-two punch of stoner metal that had me banging my head until my neck was sore, and grinning from ear to ear as I left the venue...and what metal fan could ask for more than that?

Here is what they played:

The Sword
Acheron / Unearthing the Orb
Tres Brujas
Barael's Blade
Arrows In The Dark
How Heavy This Axe
The Chronomancer I: Hubris
Fire Lances Of The Ancient Hyperzephyrians
Lawless Lands
Maiden, Mother & Crone
Night City
The Chronomancer II: Nemesis
The Horned Goddess
The Black River
Freya
Iron Swan
(The Night The Sky Cried) Tears Of Fire

Encore:
Astraea's Dream
Winter's Wolves

By the way, I regrettably had to miss the opening act, which was Mount Carmel from Columbus, Ohio. We got there just in time to hear the last riffs of their final song. I know from listening to their samples on MySpace that they are a competent outfit who would have probably been fun to watch, but the traffic and weather and my work schedule and such just didn't allow it. C'est la vie.
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Last edited by Natrlhi; 12-14-2010 at 08:15 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-14-2010, 09:13 PM
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jd091 jd091 is offline
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Thanks for finally posting the review! GREAT show. Even though what should have been a 30 minute drive for me turned out to be a fuckin' 2 1/2 hour drive... that was some of the worst. Traffic. EVER. Mount Caramel was pretty chill; but you didn't miss a ton. They were some good old blues rock, almost reminded me of Gov't Mule or something. Kind of a strange opener, frankly... and there were only about 6 other people there at the time because of the weather. Anyways, it was my first time seeing the Sword live, and I had a ton of fun. SUPER glad they played Horned Goddess, thats one of my favs.

I have to say, I didn't think there would be a good pit for them based on the youtube videos I've seen of them live. Glad I was wrong! Iron Swan was awesome and brutal; my highlight of the night. Could have used another tune of Gods of the Earth, but beggars can't be choosers. A nice hour and 45 min set is always awesome.
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  #3  
Old 12-15-2010, 12:28 AM
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mankvill mankvill is offline
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I AM SO READY FOR THIS SHOW YOU DON'T EVEN FUCKING KNOW OMGHAHD
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Old 12-15-2010, 01:12 AM
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Northern_Shaman Northern_Shaman is offline
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Yeeeah! I was convinced you had just said 'fuck it' and scrapped the whole review/setlist thing. Way too bad that this tour isn't coming here . Chronomancer II is a VERY nice addition. I just love this band.
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  #5  
Old 12-15-2010, 04:58 PM
bigguytoo9 bigguytoo9 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Careenifier View Post
Yeeeah! I was convinced you had just said 'fuck it' and scrapped the whole review/setlist thing. Way too bad that this tour isn't coming here . Chronomancer II is a VERY nice addition. I just love this band.
haha yeah the promotion in Vancouver at times is very piss poor. Either way, I saw the Sword open for Metallica back in 08. Wasnt a bad show at all but I dont know id pay to see em headline.
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  #6  
Old 12-15-2010, 05:11 PM
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Northern_Shaman Northern_Shaman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigguytoo9 View Post
haha yeah the promotion in Vancouver at times is very piss poor. Either way, I saw the Sword open for Metallica back in 08. Wasnt a bad show at all but I dont know id pay to see em headline.
Fuck GM Place (Now Rogers Arena?)! I went to that show 75% for Metallica and 25% for the Sword. Got there an hour before doors opened and missed The Sword completely because of how delayed they were letting people in. Was a great concert nonetheless.

Also, just curious, what size venue was this at? Or for any of the current headlining shows. Been wondering about their popularity/turnout...
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Old 12-15-2010, 06:25 PM
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evildeadjedi evildeadjedi is offline
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Good review and nice sets by K2B and The Sword! Very Awesome to see both Chronomancers!
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  #8  
Old 12-16-2010, 07:38 AM
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Natrlhi Natrlhi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Careenifier View Post
Also, just curious, what size venue was this at? Or for any of the current headlining shows. Been wondering about their popularity/turnout...
I don't know if you've been to a House of Blues. Some are bigger than others, but generally they hold a couple thousand at most. Open floor format with balcony. This show had a couple hundred people at most...I'd say the joint holds about 1,000.
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  #9  
Old 12-16-2010, 07:53 AM
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DethMaiden DethMaiden is offline
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Jesus, they booked the House of Blues and could only get a couple hundred out? Shoulda just played Peabody's.
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