From the Flaming Pits of the Abyss: A Review of Demo 2021 by Sorcerer's Sword

(Mythic Ironworks)

Released March 4, 2022

Review by Weirding Batweilder

I'm a sucker for the synth overture that abruptly cuts off. I'm a sucker for the first-generation black metal fealty. I'm a sucker for the mid-range guitars and twin leads. I'm a sucker for the King Diamond falsetto shrieks. I'm a sucker for the fun. I'm a sucker for the whole thing.

I'm a sucker for the whole thing. I'm a sucker for the band name. I'm a sucker for the cassette artwork. I'm a sucker for that color red. I'm a sucker for the ridiculous logo. I am especially a sucker for the ridiculous logo — its 6s and crosses hanging around like cartoon spiders.

One of the worst tendencies of recent years is the propensity either to pigeon-hole black metal within a narrow band of frequencies originally generated in the early 90s or to blow it up into some kind of big professional arena rock sound. Too often glossed over are the core proto and early black metal artists that made the 80s more fun. But Sorcerer's Sword does not skimp on the Mercyful Fate / Celtic Frost / Bathory love. And this 2021 demo — aptly titled Demo 2021 — is all the better for it.

There is a riff that starts around the 2:17 mark of 'Mighty Pact of Evil', the album's third track, that so perfectly encapsulates this love while at the same time demonstrating the kind of restraint necessary to produce music like this. In lesser hands, this would have become a "heavy" part with those thick chunky Guitar Center metal sounds that ruin so many new albums obscuring what's really at stake here. Instead, DEMONIZOR and SATANASNAKE keep the tone mid and gnarly — likely plugged into a faulty outlet somewhere in the back of Satan's garage. The effect is glorious sacrificial sonic warfare amid the warring wizards of the Abyss as opposed to "Dude, that plug-in is heavy as fuck."

And that gnarliness is what makes this thing not just work, but stand out. This is gnarly black metal fun and I, for one, hope that they resist the urge to ever ask Satan for a better extension cord.


From the Archives