About five years ago, a little CD came across my desk at MTV News from Kemado Records. It was by a band called The Sword, and, since it was recommended to me by a friend, I threw in on. Holy fuck, was I blown away. The disc was a beast. I remember sitting at my desk, blasting 2006’s Age of Winters, when Kurt Loder walked by and asked me “Who the hell is that?. I let him borrow the disc and he held on to it for a week or so. He even ended up doing the voice-over for the You Hear It First piece I did on the band.
Now, The Sword are big shit. They’ve opened for Metallica, they’ve released two solid, filthy metal albums and on August 24, they’re returning with Warp Riders, which is more sci-fi leaning than the previous disc.
Frontman J.D. Cronise told me last fall that the shift could turn some of their longtime fans off. “It will absolutely alienate some fans,” Cronise told me. “The kind of music we play is partially described as heavy metal and unfortunately, a lot of dudes that like heavy metal are very narrow-minded and only like it to sound one particular way. So I’m sure we alienated people with our second album. I’m sure there are people who only like the first Sword album, and that’ll be the only one they ever buy, and then there will be people who only like the first two and think the third one sucks. There will always be those kinds of people, but you try to reach the greater masses that have a little bit more … open minds and just let those people enjoy the one record they like or whatever.”
He promises the record will still be heavy as hell. “I just hope people don’t think … I think there will be people who, after the first listen, will think we sold out and got soft,” he explains. “But, you listen to it again, and its just going to be so good that its not going to matter that it doesn’t sound as much like Sleep or Black Sabbath as you wanted it to.”
The tracklisting for Warp Riders was recently released. There will be ten devastating tracks, including “Acheron/Unearthing The Orb,” “Tres Brujas,” “Arrows In The Dark,” “The Chronomancer I: Hubris,” “Astraea’s Dream,” “Night City,” “The Chronomancer II: Nemesis,” and “(The Night The Sky Cried) Tears Of Fire”
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