07 May, 2013

The Sword: Cloak Of Feathers – new video

Texan heavy metallers, THE SWORD, have come up with new video for ‘Cloak Of Feathers’, off their latest longplayer ‘Apocryphon’, issued through Razor & Tie Records in October 2012. ‘Apocryphon’ was recorded with producer J. Robbins at Magpie Cage Studios in Baltimore, Maryland, and is their first to feature drummer Santiago “Jimmy” Vela III, who replaced the band's original drummer Trivett Wingo. ‘Apocryphon’ peaked at number 17 on the Billboard Top 200, had nearly conquered U.S. Hard Rock Albums chart at number 2 and had managed position number 3 on the U.S. Independent Albums chart. So, kindly buy the album here or here (THE SWORD store) or through Amazon or iTunes:
“THE SWORD feel more confident and in control on ‘Apocryphon’, and the feeling comes through with each titanic riff. And while we’re on the subject of rough edges, singer John Cronise delivers his best performance yet. Listening to ‘Cloak Of Feathers’, his vocals feel more powerful and substantial, and with the frontman feeling more in command, everything else seems to follow suit. The bottom line here is that for all of their tweaks and changes, THE SWORD are still a band all about massive riffs and epic lyrics, and while other bands might be more structurally complex or aggressive, few can offer the instant cosmic journey that dropping the needle on ‘Apocryphon’ can,” [wrote Gregory Heaney, AllMusic – more here]

THE SWORD, “a bladed weapon used primarily for cutting or thrusting”, was formed in 2003 in Austin, Texas by vocalist and guitarist John “J. D.” Cronise, guitarist Kyle Shutt and drummer Trivett Wingo. Bassist Bryan Richie joined the band in 2004, after the release of their demo ‘Age Of Winters’. Second demo, ‘The Sword’, and debut EP ‘Freya’, preceded the band's signing with Kemado Records who issued their debut full-length album, ‘Age Of Winters’, in 2006. Rewarded with 4.5 out of 5 rating by AllMusic, the album was described as “as good an entryway as any into the “retro-metal” universe, while also managing to sound refreshing even to calloused heavy metal ears” by Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic (more here).A split EP with Sweden's WITCHCRAFT was issued next in 2007, as THE SWORD were readying themselves to unleash their second longplayer, 2008's ‘Gods Of The Earth’. The album that took lyrical inspiration from “Conan the Barbarian” stories by Robert E. Howard and George R. R. Martin's “A Song Of Ice And Fire”, had become the band's first commercial success, having peaked at number 102 on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart. THE SWORD turned to producer Matt Bayles to record 2010's ‘Warp Riders’, a tale of Ereth, an archer banished from his tribe on the planet Acheron:
“A hardscrabble planet that has undergone a tidal lock, which has caused one side to be scorched by three suns, and the other enshrouded in perpetual darkness, it is the background for a tale of strife and fantasy, the battle between pure good and pure evil.”
“More important,” [came to rescue Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic] “is how the members of THE SWORD  convincingly navigate this proverbial meteor belt. Whether revisiting familiar musical ground on instrumentally proficient metallic moshers like ‘Arrows in the Dark’ or pealing off more compact, surprisingly nimble time capsules back to the 1970's like ‘Tres Brujas’. Throughout all this - both the old ways and new directions - the ever-present weak link would have to be Cronise's emotionally deadpan vocals, but, as was the case with earlier SWORD albums, they ultimately don’t matter as much as the group's pulverizing twin guitar attack. And these still dominate the proceedings (never more so than on the instrumental ‘Astraea's Dream’), despite shedding some of their serrated dragon-toothed distortion to reflect the sleeker, more aerodynamic, but no less cyclopean spaceship hulls befitting ‘Warp Riders’ sci-fi setting, before powering THE SWORD victory yet again. And they didn’t even have to rename themselves the “Lightsabers” to make it work:” [More here]

THE SWORD features: John D. Cronise – vocals and guitar, Kyle Shutt – guitar, Bryan Richie – bass and Santiago Vela III – drums


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