"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.