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The Sword – Low Country Review

Released by: The Sword

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre:  Heavy Metal




John D. Cronise – Vocals and guitar

Kyle Shutt – Guitar and vocals

Bryan Richie – Bass

Santiago “Jimmy” Vela III – Drums



  1. Unicorn Farm
  2. Empty Temples
  3. High Country
  4. Mist & Shadow
  5. Seriously Mysterious
  6. Early Snow
  7. The Dreamthieves
  8. Buzzards
  9. Ghost Eye
  10. The Bees of Spring


Last year the boys from Austin, Texas released ‘High Country’ which was considered to be more experimental and than previous albums, and had more of a classic rock feel rather than a heavier sound the band is known for. Because of this, I believe it made sense that some of the songs on ‘High Country’ would sound great stripped down and performed mostly acoustic. ‘Low Country’ takes 10 tracks from ‘High Country’ and gives most of them the unplugged treatment.

The album starts with the short whimsical intro ‘Unicorn Factory’, which transitions into the ‘Empty Temples’ which was a standout track off ‘High Country’, and it doesn’t disappoint in this stripped down form.
‘Mist and Shadow’ is one of the favorites off this album, and it’s predecessor ‘High Country’. This song sounds amazing, and it also sounds very much like the original. Guessing that they didn’t have to change too much from how this sounded while writing this one. It remains one of the standout songs on this album as well.
‘Seriously Mysterious’ is another great song and will have you believing that “getting by, by staying high” is how things get done.

‘Early Snow’, The intro has a down home feel with some of its slide guitar work. Then a distorted bass kicks in, along with some synth sounds and a horn section. This song was kinda all over the place. I hate to say but we prefer the ‘High Country’ version. ‘The Dreamthieves’ We absolutely love this version, it has some great vocal harmonies.  ‘Buzzards’ we believe this is the weakest track on the album, and we didn’t care for the synth sound on this, and the guitars have a dated 80’s pop sound. We feel ‘Turned to Dust’ would’ve been a far better song for them to do for this album. But you can’t always get what you want.

Overall, if you’ve been listening to ‘High Country’ for the last year as much as we have, it may take a few spins for you to get a feel for the album. This is perhaps a glimpse into what these songs sounded like while being written. This should help hold over die hard fans for a bit, but I’m sure the fans (like us) will be looking forward to a new album in the future. Whenever that may come, it won’t be soon enough! The guys are still on the road supporting ‘High Country’, and if they’re coming nearby, you need to catch them live. Words can only say so much, these guys play a great live show!


Written by : Pam and Mark Schaff

Ratings:  7/10


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