The Sword is an American heavy metal band from Austin, Texas. Since its inception in 2003 the band has comprised vocalist and guitarist John “J. D.” Cronise, guitarist Kyle Shutt, and bassist Bryan Richie, and since October 2011 has included drummer Santiago “Jimmy” Vela III.
The band's first releases were two demos in 2003 and 2004, titled “Age of Winters” and “The Sword” respectively. Another independent release came in 2005, in the form of the EP “Freya,” before the band signed with New York-based label Kemado Records in mid-2005.
The Sword recorded their first full-length album later in the year, and it was released in February 2006 as “Age of Winters.” After the supporting single “Freya” was released in September 2007, a split EP with Swedish doom metal band Witchcraft followed later in the year featuring new song “Sea of Spears” and a cover of Led Zeppelin's “Immigrant Song.”
In April 2008 the band released their second album “Gods of the Earth,” which was the first of the band's releases to chart, reaching #102 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. The Sword's first two albums were released as a box set in November 2008.
After a worldwide tour including dates supporting Metallica, The Sword returned to the studio in early 2010 to record their third album. “Warp Riders” was released in August 2010, supported by the singles “Tres Brujas” and “(The Night the Sky Cried) Tears of Fire” and a music video trilogy of “Tres Brujas,” “Lawless Land” and “Night City.” Earlier in the year another split EP was released with stoner rock band Year Long Disaster, as well as a download-only EP documenting the band's performance at the 2010 iTunes Festival, “iTunes Festival: London 2010.”
Original drummer Trivett Wingo left the band shortly into the Warp Riders Tour and was replaced with Kevin Fender, who saw out the rest of the dates until he was replaced in 2011 by Santiago “Jimmy” Vela III. The Sword signed a new record deal with Razor & Tie in March 2012, with their fourth album “Apocryphon” released in October 2012. The album debuted at #17 on the Billboard 200 chart, making it the most commercially successful release by the band to date.