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Warp Riders

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Editors’ Notes

For a minute there the Sword were caught in the middle of a highly-contested trend: making heavy metal safe for the artfully unshaven hipster set. While some of the band’s cooler-than-thou converts have stuck around for Album No. 3, the Sword’s also gained a completely new audience from several Lars-approved tours with Metallica. By that, we mean dudes who wear denim vests. Real-deal rock ’n’ rollers. In other words the type of hedonistic head-bangers who enjoy a good thrashing. That’s exactly what we get on Warp Riders, as the Sword serves up a sci-fi concept album about zooming through hyperspace alongside an archer named Ereth. What separates the black-lit lyrics and serious shredding of songs like “Tres Brujas” and “Lawless Lands” from most widescreen releases is the Sword’s refusal to get too caught up in the chapters of their interstellar storyline. Like any decent B-movie, the real appeal of Warp Riders isn’t the record’s script. It’s the group’s commitment to caring about nothing but delivering a good time. 

Customer Reviews


MORE PRODUCTION on this one than any previous. Sound's cleaned up BUT riffs still dirty and guitar is as heavy as it had been on any other. LOTS more sound many less vocals too as SWORD goes deeper in to concept album (hero stuck on planet half good/half evil how-to-get-me-off?! deal). Don't think a new listener should do this first--this is for seasoned SWORD listeners. 5 stars b/c they've moved a bit beyond WINTERS & GODS without giving up on any weight & it's all still true to everything doom/sludge/stoner metal (dumb media-mag labels...) we seasoned vets have been raised to love. Wont praise any individual tracks as this one is a TRUE album first-to-last and it's all strong. BUY & LISTEN.

Just buy it stupid

The Sword is the best thing to happen to metal this decade.

Awesome in its purest form

Now here is an album packed full of epic badassery, I have nothing bad to say about any of it. Sounds like a bunch of Bison being pushed over a hill? Nah, not any more. I think it sounds more like a flock of steel plated eagles swooping in for the kill... And I want more! Something this good must continue long after my body has turned turned to dust... When aliens come to check out the ruins of this planet, I want them to find The Sword. For then there search will be over for even there advanced minds will be baffled, there ears raped, and there souls enlightend (Do aliens have souls?)... and it will be good.


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...
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Warp Riders, The Sword
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