Austin TX's The Sword came together at the beginning of the last decade as a hybrid of doom metal, first-wave thrash metal like Slayer, late-70s classic New Wave of British Heavy Metal (Iron Maiden, etc), and what was then being called "stoner metal," though that term has proven its uselessness as time went on. With a tenacious work ethic and great, pounding live show that often transcends what the band is able to offer on record, The Sword eclipsed the success of many of its contemporaries and became a self-sustaining unit seemingly built for the live arena. After playing together for a couple of years and releasing two demos and an EP titled Freya in 2004, The Sword was signed by NYC's Kemado Records (parent label of Mexican Summer Records) on a recommendation by Lamb of God guitarist Mark Morton, and this initiated a long and fruitful relationship that saw The Sword release four full lengths, contribute several songs to various versions of Guitar Hero as well as two special heavily-promoted one-offs for the Volcom label and iTunes.The Sword has also toured the world with Lamb of God, Lucuna Coil, Witchcraft (with whom the band shared a split EP), Machine Head, ...and You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, Clutch and eventually Metallica, who the band supported for two tours in 2010. The band's more hard-rock oriented conceptually-based third album, Warp Riders, sold 9000 copies in its first week and peaked at #47 on the Billboard 200 album charts.
In early 2012 The Sword switched labels and signed a multi-album deal with Razor & Tie Records. It's fourth album, 2012's Apocryphon, debuted at #17 on the Billboard 200 and was produced by Jawbox/Burning Airlines founder and notable knob-twirler J. Robbins. The Sword also released its own hot sauce during this period, known as Tears of Fire, as well as two lines of its own craft beer, Winter Wolves Beer and Iron Swan. The Sword released its fifth album in August of this year, titled High Country, and then embarked on doing what it does best, hitting stages the world over, which will bring things to Minglewood Hall tonight.
Opening for The Sword will be Atlanta, GA's excellent Royal Thunder, a hard-rock/metal/blues-rock/prog-rock band fronted by the distinctly haunting vocals of singer Miny Parsonz. Doors: 8:00pm Show starts at 9:00pm and admission is $20 - $22.