Friday, April 1, 2011

[A-Z Blogging Challenge] A is for The Sword is AWESOME!

I'm going to have to eat a bit of crow with this blog post. My family has a long history of "worthless Christmas gifts" from the year of multiple copies of "Dragons of Autumn Twilight," to the early nineties when I got one of those Lollapaloser flimsy sleeveless flannel shirts with an attached flimsy hood (because I liked punk rock...) and the "$25 worth of Costco gift certificates" debacle (great, a present that means I have to wait in line forever to buy a giant box of granola bars). Oh well, it's not like one should expect their parents to get them Sodom vinyl LPs and early OOP TSR products.

So this year my sister, bless her square heart, got me a copy of The Sword's "Warp Riders" for Christmas as "Blair likes metal." Yeah Blair likes metal... the same way Jamie Mal likes Dungeons & Dragons. Blair likes primitive, bestial low-fi thrash, doom, sludge, grindcore, black metal, power get the picture.

So, of course, I was less than enthused with that gift, although my making lemonade out of lemons reaction was "Well a fair amount of my friends are hipster-ish so I can just re-gift it whenever I hear of a birthday..."

Today I had to take the day off work due to a strained back; after my 11 am wake-n-bake I was restless, bored and lookign for something to entertain me. I spotted my copy of "Warp Riders" gathering dust and thought "Why don't I put this on and laugh my ass off at how slick and false it is!", the metal-nerd version of Mystery Science Theatre 3000.

Well, although the production was slicker than what I was used to, after a few minutes I was sucked in! I really let my "underground nuclear goat chaos punk hessian" stance interfere with enjoying some awesome music, as this album really kicks ass!

This band really has it all: awesome riffs & hooks, psychedelic space fantasy lyrics, and lush production that propels you on nebulae of pot smoke through the cosmos!

I really learned my lesson about being judgmental about "bands not being underground enough," and I have already discovered a bunch of awesome new bands on youtube like Priestess, Queens of the Stone Age, Muse and Probot just from looking at music with an open mind, and I encourage you to do the same.

I know that when I resume DMing Planet Algol games that The Sword "Warp Riders" will be the official album of the Planet Algol campaign, and I encourage all of you to check out this kickass band.

Now here's a little random table of "The Sword Inspired Plot Hooks"

1 - Tres Brujas - The party encounters three witches, are they potential allies or adversaries?
2 - Warp Riders - The party finds a downed starcraft, do they dare to ride the warp?
3 - Night City - The party arrives at a city ...where it is always night!
4 - Arrows in the Dark - Out of the darkness arrows fly at the party ...what is this ambush?!?!
5 - The Chronomancer, Pt. 1: Hubris - The party encounters a sorcerer with unusual time-manipulating magic, however he/she suffers from hubris!
6 - Lawless Lands - In their travels the party has to cross a land without any lawful authority...danger and crime abounds!
7 - Acheron/Unearthing the Orb - The party comes across a party of archaeologists studying ancient Acheronian ruins ...and they have just discovered a mysterious orb!
8 - Astraea's Dream - An NPC, names Astraea, just had a mysterious dream that bodes of adventure for the party!
9 - The Chronomancer, Pt. 2: Nemesis - The party encounters a time-manipulating sorcerer who is being hunted by another time-manipulating  adversary who seeks to punish them for their hubris!
10 - (The Night The Sky) Cried Tears of Fire - After sunset storm clouds gather; the clouds...they look like embers...why is the lightning flaming? Oh gods no...the burns!


  1. Blair likes primitive, bestial low-fi thrash, doom, sludge, grindcore, black metal, power violence...

    I can understand it. DEFINITELY I can :D

    BTW: Sarke (do you know them?) announced a new album!

  2. Do you have a post of kick ass music for gaming? My music library is mainly reggae, doesn't exactly mesh well with D&D...

  3. Sorry to hear about the back-strain. Take care of yourself! You'll probably set off some sort of Plot Hook From Metal Lyrics meme-thing now. IA! Shub Metalleth, dark goat-thing of a thousand ideas a second.
    The whole set you listed could make one big adventure...

  4. We love the Sword around here. I think their last album (Gods of the Earth) might be even better...

  5. I am not buying this. The date is a dead giveaway!

  6. BOOOOO! Up the Nuclear Goat Nuclear Goat Chaos Punk Hessians!

  7. My instinct is that you're April Fuh-Fuh-Fuh-Foolin', because The Sword are a bunch of pussies (despite a decent debut record). I bought the vinyl of Warp Riders just for the cover, but I've only listened to it once. Conversely, I bought Forward's "While You Alive" EP on the same day and I've listened to that shit a thousand times. I'll take brutal, shitty production over shiny production any day.

    So I think you're faking, or your enjoyment was bong-specific. Anyway, I'm gonna spin Warp Riders one more time and report back.

  8. What's The Meaning of Love????????
    Best song ever? Or the best song ever? It's your choice.

  9. I don't know from The Sword, but the video for "Fire Lances of the Ancient Hyperzephyrians" is filled with Thundarr/Heavy Metal Mag goodness, after a random B&W intro

  10. April Fool's or not, I dug it. But then again, as a child of the seventies, how could I not: black light poster/older brother's van artwork, fantasy lyrics, the return of the concept album, Atari cartridge graphics. Talk about your OSR? Hell, this would have fit in perfectly between the rotation of BÕC's Cultosaurus Erectus, Richie Blackmore's Rainbow, and Sabbath in my old VW.

  11. OK I went to iTunes to listen to some samples from Warp Riders, trying to figure out whether you were serious or was this an April Fools thing.

    I now know the answer, and ignorance was bliss.