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Age Of Winters

The Sword Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: £24.99
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Every culture has its own set of cryptic texts.
They're the forbidden tomes of wisdom which governing powers will deny knowledge of and ban. They're usually thought-provoking. They're typically dangerous. They're often revolutionary. It might seem impossible to keep anything private in the modern age of Facebook and Twitter where everyone's dirty laundry is up for a ... Read more in Amazon's The Sword Store

Visit Amazon's The Sword Store
for 5 albums, 5 photos, discussions, and more.

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Age Of Winters + Warp Riders [VINYL] + Gods of the Earth
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Product details

  • Audio CD (20 April 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Kemado
  • ASIN: B000EMG706
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 171,325 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description


"spirited rock power...it's a poor man who'd refuse to be won over by this call to battle." -- Mojo, June 1, 2006

"An impressive debut that as well as praying at the altar of Sabbath tips nods to such metal greats as Maiden and the unrelenting attack of the likes of Prong. Expect big things."
(#11 in "TOP 50 ALBUMS OF 2006") -- Metal Hammer, January 14, 2007

"Stomping all over many of its celebrated peers, this is a miasma concocted of elements of Black Sabbath, Melvins, Slayer, Kyuss and Trouble. Huge, heavyweight anthems that plunge headlong into timeless riffery. A colossus of a record." (#6 in "Best Albums of 2006") -- Classic Rock, January 25, 2007

"Unleashing a powerful and heady brew of masterful heavy metal, THE SWORD are a mighty proposition and deserve to be heard...gigantic" (#23 in "Top 75 Albums of 2006) -- Rocksound, Janaury 1, 2007

"axe-wielding metal warriors...monolithic riffs. Simply put, these Texas-based berserkers are heavy as f*ck" -- Kerrang!, April 12, 2006

About the Artist

THE SWORD is a colossal, high-energy powerhouse. Utilizing a potent combination of intense songwriting chemistry, eye-opening creativity and talent and a distinctly unique vision, THE SWORD is, without question, one of heavy music's most electrifying new bands.

Conceived in Austin, TX in 2003, THE SWORD took the form of a cohesive quartet in early 2004 when guitarist / singer J.D. Cronise, guitarist Kyle Shutt, bassist Bryan Richie, and drummer Trivett Wingo joined forces. Inspired by such legendary names as SLEEP, SLAYER and THE MELVINS, the four-piece immediately began to construct the songs that would soon comprise their initial demo recording. ...THE SWORD has a double office to perform: to destroy anything that opposes the will of its user and to sacrifice all the impulses that arise from the instinct of self-preservation.

THE SWORD's live shows quickly became the hottest ticket in Austin, as their punishing, yet melodious compositions, mythical imagery and conscious effort to slowly immobilize audiences left music fans astonished while word about the band continued to flourish and grow. Less than a year after their formation, THE SWORD became known as "Austin's most dangerous band". Soon, an increased number of regional live dates had gained the band an army of followers. That, combined with a devastating performance at SXSW 2004, led to the band sharing the stage with respected noise heroes like JUCIFER, DON CABELLERO and MASTODON. In April, 2004, THE SWORD was invited to hit the road alongside fellow Austin music heroes ...AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD. The month-long tour introduced their formidable live show to thousands of stunned new devotees along the east coast and Midwest U.S. ...very frequently THE SWORD may simply mean pure destruction, and then it is the symbol of force, sometimes devilish force. Following another much-talked about performance at SXSW 2005 and the awareness of the quartet's talent at an all-time high, the band found a home in diverse NYC label Kemado Records. A number of new songs already in hand, songwriting for the band's debut full-length immediately resumed.

Set for release in March, 2006, "THE SWORD" is a mind-blowing, nine-song journey inside the mysterious, yet concrete world THE SWORD call their own. Recorded at Austin's Folkvang Studios, the album was engineered by bassist Richie and produced by frontman J.D. Cronise, ensuring the complete capture of the hard-earned sound the band has worked so tirelessly to achieve. Mastered by Rick Essig at Master Cutting Room (THE NEW YORK DOLLS, CHIC COREA) and featuring atypical album art by ...AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD main man Conrad Keely, the band's self-titled debut is set to send shockwaves throughout the hard rock community at large. Exhilarating songs such as the powerfully monolithic "Celestial Crown", the heavy-handed "Freya", the graceful then rampaging "Iron Swan", "March of the Lor" with it's gripping, towering build and the catchy, colossal closer "Ebethron" instantly convey what words can only try to describe: THE SWORD is not to be taken lightly. ...As something of divinity enters into the making of THE SWORD, its owner and wielder should also respond to the inspiration. His mind should be at one with the soul which animates the cold steel. Its edge is made of metal so hard that it holds a razor sharpness even after repeated use in battle. Here is the true warrior.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An age begins 11 Sep 2007
Format:Audio CD
I was led to The Sword by way of fandom -- a fellow worshiper of Mastodon told me that this Austin metal band had the same kind of vibe.

Well, The Sword definitely does have the same kind of sound -- blazing stoner-metal with an unstoppable sound, mingled with some impressive riffs and almost unhearable vocals. And as "Age of Winters'" title might imply, it's fueled with some Norse legend, fantasy trappings, and a fire-and-ice vibe.

It opens with a thick, sludgy riff that sounds like it's feeling out the directions it could go in, and gets joined with some simmering basslines. The whole thing eventually shapes itself into a building, powerful mountain of swirling stoner riffs -- in under two minutes.

Then The Sword really blossoms with "Barael's Blade," a driving heavy rocker with frenetic riffs every few seconds. "Forged by the crow-mage from shards of darkness/honed by the halfbreed to vorpal sharpness... fragments of bore infused with purest steel/a warrior's hand and a wizard's mind to wield!" J.D. Cronise yowls passionately.

And it doesn't slow down with the songs that follow -- stormy twisting metal, slow buildups to staticky wild hard-rock, mythic expanses of sputtering bass. And in the second half, they relax a little, with a stately folky-medieval intro to "Iron Swan," the cascading "Lament For The Aurochs," and two kinetic final songs -- one a blazing fiery story-song, and the reluctant "Ebethron." It sounds like they hated to stop.

"Age of Winters" is a bit tough to really classify. Seriously, it's all about fire, ice and blood -- we've got Norse goddesses, wizards, savage wolves, Valkyries, magic swords, terrible warriors, and eight-piece instrumentals all about the march of the "Lor" (whatever that is).
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great riffs, Heavy, heavy but.... 22 Mar 2006
Format:Audio CD
If you want Black Sabbath or Blue Cheer, you can get them on back catalogue! No seriously, this debut album by The Sword has much to recommend it. There are the unbelievably heavy monster riffs that remind you of Vol.4 era Sabbath. The band know how to rock in that stoner 70s soundscape that is making a huge comeback and guitarist/vocalist JD Cronise does a reasonable job of impersonating Ozzy. The lyrics are ideal for those that have a soft spot for fantasy fiction and that includes me so I have no complaints but watch for other reviewers to say how juvelile and ludicrous they are! What this band and artists on a similar tack like Witch and Wolfmother seem to have forgotten though, is that the bands to which they play tribute had at their heart a great lead guitarist - Sabs had Iommi, Purple had Blackmore etc but the post modern metal landscape has largely dispensed with this as being self indulgent twaddle. I can't help but feel though that some blistering solos is exactly what is missing here making me reach for the word *monotonous* with all shade and no colour. That said, if your thing at gigs is headbanging away in the bass bin, then this is perfect for you and who at heart couldn't do with a bit of that in the record collection!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Class 1 April 2006
By BlicQ
Format:Audio CD
For a long time i've been pretty disillusioned with modern metal bands, but reading in a magazine that The Sword sounded like Kyuss and Black Sabbath i decided to check this out. Definately wasnt dissapointed. The metal riffs and stoner rock melodies really have to be heard! stand out track for me is Iron Swan , which really is just amazing. Best metal album since Kyuss's Welcome to Sky Vally.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tip of a Large Iceberg 6 Nov 2007
Format:Audio CD
Recently it seems the relatively obscure genre of stoner metal has been creeping into more popular realms. Take for example the massive success of Mastodon, a band who, like The Sword, combine staple stoner metal with visceral classic metal. Then there are acts like High on Fire, Witch and Down all releasing huge slabs of stoner/doom tinged metal. Black Sabbath's influence is still going strong, and it seems masses still enjoy a heavy riff and groove. So, along came The Sword from Austin with their debut "Age of Winters", an album that I was fully expecting to love and wave around the mainstream yelling "here's some GOOD music". As you could have guessed from my 3 stars, I don't love this cd. In fact, I find it a rather large damp squid.

I want to talk about the album's positives firstly, as it does have some good things going. There are some songs here where the band really hit the nail, instantly recalling their classic metal and stoner influences. For example, the opening two cuts, "Celestial Crown" and "Barael's Blade" are powerful and give the album a thundering start. "The Horned Goddess" and "Iron Swan" make for a fantastic middle section, the latter being one of the best metal songs I have heard in a while. These songs are what the band should be doing all the time. Chopping and changing doom riffs, classic metal solos, big grooves etc. The backing band is superb in full flight.

Unfortunately, the band does not always deliver this. The songs I mentioned earlier showcase such penetrating riffs and writing that the utterly annoying singer's vocals are no longer important. I am able to zone out and soak up the excellent instrumentation, something I cannot do in other songs. Whoever said this guy sounds like a modern day Ozzy is talking out of their sphincter.
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