Canadian prog-thrashers SWORD have released their new single “In Kommand”, available exclusively on Bandcamp via Combat Records. “In Kommand” features the band’s classic lineup, including vocalist Rick Hughes, guitarist Mike Plant, bassist Mike LaRock, and drummer Dan Hughes. SWORD‘s first new offering in over 30 years, “In Kommand” will find its way to all digital outlets worldwide on November 27, with a long-awaited third studio album to follow.
Formed in 1980 in Montreal, SWORD (not to be confused with THE SWORD, a great doom metal band that came out over 20 years later) released its Combat Records debut, “Metalized”, in 1986, punctuated by the band’s precise thrash attack, and the soaring vocals of Rick Hughes, summed up by Kerrang!‘s Mark Putterford as such; “My eyes are a painful shade of purple. My ears are ringing tortuously. My mouth is awash with blood and broken teeth, I’ve just been ten rounds with a Montreal mob called SWORD. ”
SWORD was hand-picked by METALLICA to open the Quebec leg of the “Master Of Puppets” tour, Alice Cooper‘s Canadian “Return Of The Nightmare” tour and then crisscrossed the U.K. with the mighty Lemmy on MOTÖRHEAD‘s “Rock N’ Roll” tour. “Metalized” was followed up by the heavy but diverse “Sweet Dreams” in 1988.
After a short U.S. tour promoting “Sweet Dreams”, SWORD started work on its third album when all hell broke loose, and a parting of ways ensued. Until 2011, when they reunited for a few select shows in Canada and Germany and found the urge to go back in the studio to pick up where they had left off.
The quartet soon ended up right back where they started, after connecting with Thom Hazaert and MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson, and their relaunched Combat Records, which immediately released “Live: Hammersmith”, a live recording of a “Metalized”-era SWORD show supporting MOTÖRHEAD at England’s fabled Hammersmith Odeon.
Says Hazaert: “David was a huge fan of SWORD. We’d actually discussed them a few times through the Combat relaunch, ironically, not even knowing they had begun work on a new album, and he had told me stories of MEGADETH listening to ‘Metalized’ on repeat on their tour bus during the ‘Peace Sells’ era, and how much he loved them. So when I connected with them, through our Canadian friend Mitch Lafon, I knew it was something we definitely had to pursue. Not only were they a very important artist in the history of Combat, but David and I were both huge fans, and honestly, they haven’t missed a beat.”
Adds Ellefson: “SWORD have a special place in my life, from as far back as the MEGADETH ‘Peace Sells’ tour, as we used to drive around and listen to the ‘Metallized’ album, to now having them at here at home with us at Combat Records. This is one band and album you definitely don’t want to miss as the quality of their material in the production and their writing is as strong as ever.”