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Warp Riders

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Album Review

Much was made of the Sword's decision to abandon Middle Earth, following two acclaimed albums steeped in fantasy metal, in order to rocket into outer space for their third full-length, 2010's Warp Riders; but the band's vintage metal sound suffered not one bit from its new alien surroundings. In fact, it hardly changed: retaining most of its thrash-infused metal classicism while shifting gears ever so slightly from a doom to stoner rock undercurrent, then capping it all off with an ambitious science fiction storyline (in two parts!). Yes, this is a concept album in the unadulterated (and dangerously indulgent) definition of the term, one that sets the stage for Warp Riders on the distant planet Acheron, where our banished hero, Ereth the archer, is locked in an epic struggle between good and evil and, well, you get the drift. More important is how the members of the Sword — vocalist/guitarist John D. Cronise, guitaritst Kyle Shutt, bassist Bryan Richie, and drummer Trivett Wingo — convincingly navigate this proverbial meteor belt. Whether revisiting familiar musical ground on instrumentally proficient metallic moshers like "Arrows in the Dark," the aptly named "The Chronomancer I: Hubris" and "(The Night the Sky Cried) Tears of Fire," or pealing off more compact, surprisingly nimble time capsules back to the 1970s like "Tres Brujas," "Lawless Lands" and "Night City." 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 to victory yet again. And they didn't even have to rename themselves the Lightsabers to make it work.

Customer Reviews

Unbelievably Awesome Yet Again

I've have listened to The Sword since I fell in love with Freya on Guitar Hero 2, and from that point they have not disappointed me at all! The albums keep getting better, and The Sword are seriously making their mark on the world of legendary artists! They have been my favorite band for a very long time, and they will continue to be until the day I die and beyond! I WILL listen to these guys in the afterlife!

The release of Warp Riders has been huge! And with Warp Riders II set in the distant future I look forward to many more epic, head banging, rhythm pumping albums!

Perfect Metal Album!

I am so happy that I started listening to The Sword. They are one of my favourite metal bands. Their two albums prior to this were so good and this was no let down. They have great riffs in this, it is well worth the buy. My favourite songs are "Lawless Lands", "Tres Brujas", "Warp Riders" and "Night City". Buy the album!


Wow ... I have once again been truly inspired by some hard, no nonsense, metal. This is like a mix between Fu Manchu (stoner grooves) and some old school metallic (hard pacing licks).

Thanks "The Sword" ... its not very often I am overwhelmed by an album that I just want to play over and over and over and .....

You guys were awesome at "Soundwave 2011" in Sydney Australia ... please come back again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Formed: 2003 in Austin, TX

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Not to be confused with the Canadian heavy metal band from the late '80s simply named Sword, the Sword are a retro-metal four-piece hailing from -- of all places -- the singer/songwriter oasis of Austin, Texas. First conceived in 2003, the Sword really hit their stride about a year later, when founding vocalist and guitarist J.D. Cronise joined forces with guitarist Kyle Shutt, bassist Bryan Richie, and drummer Trivett Wingo, and made a much raved-about appearance at Austin's famed SXSW festival....
Full Bio
Warp Riders, The Sword
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Customer Ratings