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Album Review: Pillars by Sworn To Oath

Stoke on Trent metal trio Sworn To Oath release their debut album Pillars on the 2nd June. You’d be a fool dismiss this as your average metal album, yes it has the crushing riffs and snarling vocals, yet you’ll find Pillars crammed full of big hooks. Catchy and instantaneous; they’ve taken Killswitch Engage’s knack for writing a pop hook and taken it up a notch.

The overall sound of Sworn To Oath is reminiscent of the so-called New Wave Of Heavy Metal (NWOHM) bands that became so popular in the early 2000s. Think Chimera, Shadows Fall, 36 Crazyfists and their contemporaries and you’ll have a good basis.  “This is our first album and we feel that it’s going to be the perfect introduction to Sworn To Oath” commented the band “There was a massive sense of urgency whilst making the record & we hope this comes across in the songs. It’s really exciting for it to be unleashed & we hope everyone enjoys it.”

Opening track ‘Outcast’ is full of fury and driving drumming, the riffs are heavy and relentless. The chorus is a meaty and instantaneous, containing a hook which wouldn’t look of place in a pop punk album. ‘Forever Hunting’ continues with the fury with a brutally heavy introduction, it’s here that the band closely resemble the aforementioned NWOHM bands. It’s no bad thing though; the songs sit easier and are more accessible.

‘Free Me’ and ‘Let The Rain Pour’ continue the frantic pace of Pillars, with the latter being a hook ridden behemoth. The chorus is incredibly catchy; add that to some intricate riffs and some fantastic shouted vocals and you get the standout track of the album. ‘All My Time’ has the hallmarks of a classic metal song; aggression, big heavy riffs, drums which pummel through your head and a grizzly vocal tick all the right boxes. Once again, out come the hooks and you’ve got a surprisingly poppy chorus.  ‘Crosses’ is a frenzied assault to the senses before ‘Stand Alone’ becomes the second standout track, the influence of Killswitch Engage is evident. The guitar solo is good and the hooks are fantastic.

Pillars is an excellent debut album, albeit lifted straight from the template of NWOHM, it will stand out as one of the better metal albums released in 2014. The songs are accessible, but it’s probably heavy enough to annoy your parents.

AD rating 6.5/10


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