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CD (2012)

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Review by Craig on 16th September, 2013
5 stars "The Sword, nuff said"

The Sword has become one of my favourite bands. They have once again proven that they are worthy of legend by releasing this record.
Worth of legend. That is all.



Release date NZ
October 26th, 2012
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Apocryphon, which literally translates to “secret writing”, is the perfect moniker for THE SWORD's fourth full-length album and first for Razor & Tie. Wrapping poetic and poignant imagery in a haze of crushing riffs and ethereal melodies, the Austin, TX quartet delivers haunting, hypnotic, and heavy rock. The group consists of John D. Cronise (Vocals, Guitar), Kyle Shutt (Guitar), Bryan Richie (Bass), and Santiago “Jimmy” Vela III (Drums).

Coming off 2010's acclaimed concept album Warp Riders, THE SWORD approached their latest offering from a new perspective. Instead of recording in Austin, they holed up in Baltimore with producer J. Robbins (Clutch, Jawbox) for five weeks to craft Apocryphon in the summer of 2012.

“It felt like a fresh start,” affirms Shutt. "We always made our records in Austin. This is the first time we left the city to live somewhere and make music. It was good to shake things up.”

Cronise elaborates, “The music is also lyrically different. There's not as much storytelling as on previous albums. There are songs about real life subjects. In a way, I realized music as a vehicle for expressing my own views and thoughts. I shied away from that before in favour of entertaining people with colourful narratives. This is where I'm at.”
With an eerie synth, captivating refrain, and pummeling guitars, the title track references his deep and calculated research.

“The word Apocryphon came up while I was researching Gnosticism, early Christianity, theosophy, and other esoteric subjects,” he goes on. “They're books that were either banned or removed from the biblical canon. The early church fathers felt that these teachings were either too advanced or dangerous for the masses to be exposed to because they encouraged thought that was antithetical to the church’s system of control, so they were considered heretical and dubbed apocrypha. You've got to look beyond what you're told to the totality of knowledge available to approach any sort of true understanding.”

THE SWORD were hand-picked by Metallica for their 2008 worldwide tour, and they've shared the stage with everyone from Motorhead to Ozzy Osbourne.
Their music has been prominently utilized in films such as ‘Jennifer's Body’ and Jonas Åkerlund’s ‘Horsemen’ as well as the best-selling video game Guitar Hero: Metallica.

2013 sees THE SWORD return to Australia for Soundwave Festival – their second time coming.

Ultimately, THE SWORD will continue to reveal what other artists won't. “To some degree, it's always been about escapism,” concludes Cronise. “Music is supposed to transport people somewhere away from their daily lives. For Apocryphon, the idea was to do that in a more introspective and philosophical manner. I'd like it if listeners think a little bit more about life, their existence, and their place in the universe while taking this trip.”

Track Listing:

Disc 1:
1. The Veil Of Isis
2. Cloak Of Feathers
3. Arcane Montane
4. The Hidden Masters
5. Dying Earth
6. Execrator
7. Seven Sisters
8. Hawks & Serpents
9. Eyes Of The Stormwitch
10. Apocryphon

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