Dying Victims Production, black vinyl, insert, sticker, post card, download code, Since their auspicious birth in 2018, there’s been no stopping Switzerland’s MEGATON SWORD. As if their very moniker was a prescient stroke of genius – or, rather, a self-fulfilling prophecy – the once-quartet arrived fully formed with their glorious debut EP, Niralet, in 2019 via DYING VICTIMS. Here, virtually without warning, they evinced an ages-old sound that was wise (and wizened) well beyond their young years. Already, MEGATON SWORD knew the mystery of steel…and wielded it with a startling confidence. Which made their debut album the next year, Blood Hails Steel – Steel Hails Fire, all the more shocking: MEGATON SWORD somehow revealed new twists to that mystery of steel, and further evinced a charisma that was star-power writ large. Again released by DYING VICTIMS, it was no shock that Blood Hails Steel – Steel Hails Fire was hailed far and wide. And yet still, it seemed MEGATON SWORD were only getting started… And they’re not finished – not by a long shot – as testified by their second album, Might & Power. Almost absurdly titled in its elegant simplicity, Might & Power might seem on the surface a reiteration of their true-as-steel HEAVY METAL, and to a large degree, that’s correct – MEGATON SWORD are still drunk on high fantasy and the enduring themes of conquest and valor, triumph and tragedy – but the deceptively expansive album sees the now-quintet stretching their sturdy sound in directions more dynamic and extreme. When was the last time you heard actual blastbeats on a true-metal album? Well, you’ll certainly find ‘em here on Might & Power and probably not bat an eyelash, for MEGATON SWORD wield all their weapons effortlessly. What about ‘70s singer-songwriter melodrama, plaintive piano and all? Same here: while far more subtle, the integration of softer, rock-oriented textures makes their metal all the more enduring – and exciting. For if there’s one guiding theme that earmarks Might & Power as MEGATON SWORD’s arguably greatest recording, it’s that the drama is windswept but undeniably human, in all its myriad hues; this may be heavy metal after all, but it’s not “only heavy metal.” Put another way, MEGATON SWORD so deeply understand that mystery of steel that they know when to sheath their (sonic) swords and offer a weathered hand, gently raising up their fallen comrades. Much credit goes to vocalist Uzzy Unchained, whose pipes poignantly narrate this evocative shift. With no hyperbole intended, MEGATON SWORD are no longer on the march. They have truly reached the halls of greatness with Might & Power. Hearing is believing, but it just might bring you to tears.