ELECTION DAY SPECIAL
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Every culture has its own set of cryptic texts. They're the forbidden tomes of wisdom which governing powers will deny knowledge of and ban. They're usually thought-provoking. They're typically dangerous. They're often revolutionary. 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—John D. Cronise [Vocals, Guitar], Kyle Shutt [Guitar], Bryan Richie [Bass], and Santiago “Jimmy” Vela III [Drums]—is about to let the world in on a little secret…
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. Jimmy had just joined the band. We had new management, and we had just signed to Razor & Tie. There was a strange energy in Baltimore, and it fit with our attitude."
The Sword consistently give their audience a fully realized experience, though. They began turning heads with Age of Winters in 2006 and its 2008 follow-up God of the Earth. Metallica hand-picked them for a 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. Meanwhile, in 2010, Warp Riders reached #42 on the Billboard Top 200. 2012 saw them ink their deal with Razor & Tie, and a whole new chapter has begun. 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." That's one secret truly worth sharing.
"Gypsyhawk is four metal dudes playing rock and roll and bringing the party every time they get on stage," states guitarist Andrew Packer, and there is perhaps no better way of surmising the spirit and sound of the Pasadena quartet. Revisiting the electrifying sounds of bullshit-free 70s rock, the band are a breath of fresh air compared to the endless onslaught of breakdown obsessed bands cluttering up heavy music.
Austin TX's instruMETAL outfit EAGLE CLAW plays heavy, loud music. Formed in the fall of 2007, the band started gaining momentum when their demo Bastard Usurper first infiltrated Austin's music scene and was quickly followed up by their official release entitled Poacher. Comprised of the dualistic soundscapes of guitarists, Matt Rade and Michael Gonzalez, the searing low end fuzz of bassist Luther Smalls, and the relentless pounding of Bart Butler's drumming, the band is best known for their high energy live performances.