Rock & Pop

The Sword/Gypsy Hawk/Eagle Claw

When: Fri., Nov. 9, 9 p.m. 2012

The Sword has been around almost 10 years, and the Black Sabbath comparisons have followed it around for that entire time. The heavy-metal quartet that originated in Austin, Texas has been mostly categorized as “stoner rock” since their debut album Age of Winters came out in 2006. Stoner rock kind of seems like a delegitimizing term to label a band, but on the other hand, they did win a High Times Doobie Award, so the label certainly seems to fit. Regardless of whether they could pass a drug test, The Sword have been critically acclaimed by both critics and music peers alike; Metallica has recognized them as a force to be reckoned with and took them on a few of their tours, which is nearly the metal music equivalent of being blessed by the Pope. Their latest album, Apocryphon, has a retro-metal feel and features meaty guitar riffs, wicked guitar solos, and vocals that may or may not sound like Ozzy Osbourne’s. While the style of their sound hasn’t changed much lyrically, Apocryphon was a more philosophical endeavor than their previous albums, according to front man John Cronise. The lyrics involve a lot more storytelling, and much of the subject matter is archaic and about the occult, but in an introspective, not scary way. To wrap it all up neatly, the word “apocryphon” translates to “secret writing,” which they felt described the album’s theme perfectly. Perhaps it’s their most profound work yet, or perhaps it’s just a “highdea”; either way, it’s worth a listen if you’re a headbanging metalhead at any level. (Sam Mendez)

Price: $15

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