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The Sword “Age of Winters” This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

     For metal music enthusiasts, it has been a dark time. Caught in the abyss of “Screamo” and “Wusscore” in mainstream metal, nobody had come out with a straight, powerful, moving metal album for years until a small band from Austin, Texas debuted this year with “Age of Winters.” A breath of fresh air in a heaping pile of scrap metal, this album shows the band's unlimited potential.

The band's connection with the legendary Black Sabbath is unprecedented in songs like “Celestial Crown,” “Lament for the Aurochs,” and “Winter's Wolves.” The album also goes back to the riff-heavy style of 1980s thrash-metal with songs like “Iron Swan” and “Freya.” These methodic, dark riffs are a head-banger's dream.

Unfortunately, not everything about this band is great. The vocal quality is poor at best, which can take away from JD Cronise's somewhat fantasy-style of songwriting. The poor quality may drive away the casual listener, but a die-hard metal fan can probably see beyond it. Come to this band if you like hearing about giant monsters or mythological battles.

In the end, this is a solid album that makes a valuable addition to a metal fan's collection. Give this classic-gone-modern treasure a listen and support the rise of solid, powerful rock music.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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