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doncbruital on 03/30/2010 at 02:00PM

Sword Heaven Slays


But then you knew that, didn't you? I mean, few bands make good on the promise of harsh texture intensity and nonpitched brute crunch force like the guys in SWORD HEAVEN do, delivering via drumpound worship ceremony and metal (as in sheets of it) screech, their blasts coming tectonic-heavy, thunderbolt-heavy, asteroid-annihilation-heavy, again and again and again, guaranteeing for the listener an experience of defocalization to rival any yogamat meditative zone or nature-rumination psychic space to which you've ever grooved.

At the risk of this post's form too closely mirroring content--and all this purple prose overloading comprehension as much as a Sword Heaven set does--I want to double down on this idea for a sec, cause I think what this band does is really incredible. For some help, Robert Smithson, writing about a theoretical sculpture "The Eliminator"--basically a big repeating neon light--hits us with a handy thought about overload: "The Eliminator overloads the eye whenever the red neon flashes on, and in so doing diminishes the viewer's memory dependencies or traces. Memory vanishes... unreality becomes actual and solid." The incapacitating blasts of a harsh industrial act do the same, staggering out irregular and spaced out, offering the listener nothing to focus on but the overwhelmed mind's own lack of focus. Unlocked from the everyday sensory comfort zone, it all floats free.

Lest you think this is all some modern art conceptual game--not all  Eliminators are found in the museum, after all--listen to how great Sword Heaven sounds doing their thing: check out the killer live set so neatly offered up for you FMA folk. And--lucky us--these masters of the sensory overload have hit the road again; their tour, northeasterners, is not to be missed.

Trust me, you're likely to retain some lessons from their scrapmetal-strewn zone of total annihilation.

sword heaven


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