MP3 At 3PM: The Sword

For one reason or another, the South has in recent years produced some of the most exciting metal in the country. Consider Atlanta’s Mastodon, Norma Jean and Zoroaster and, of course, their Georgian neighbors, Baroness, based in the coastal city of Savannah. Just a few states west of the Peach State, Texas has produced acts with a similar devotion to brutality and/or fantasy: For two decades, Pantera wrecked listeners with Vulgar Display Of Power, The Great Southern Trendkill and other classic releases, and now the Lone Star State’s metal torch has been passed to Austin’s Sword. Since its initial rumblings in 2003, the four-piece went on to release two LPs, both of which earned the band massive critical praise and established it as one of the preeminent acts of this storied scene. Now, with many an eye cast its way, the Sword is set to unleash Warp Riders on August 24 via Kemado. “Tres Brujas,” a propulsive, thick metal jam based on Three Witches mythology (viz. Macbeth and Norse folklore), is the album’s first single, which is part of a larger, original sci-fi narrative the band constructed to thematically underpin Warp Riders. Matt Bayles (Isis, Minus The Bear, Mastodon) produces. Read our 2006 feature on the Sword, Early Man, Pearls And Brass, Goblin Cock, Rosetta and Torche.

“Tres Brujas” (download):