"Lawless Lands", the new video from Austin, Texas metal luminaries THE SWORD, can be viewed below. The clip is the second of a trio of conceptually linked videos ("Tres Brujas", "Lawless Lands" and "Night City") that tie in themes of the band's third full-length album, "Warp Riders", which sold around 8,900 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 47 on The Billboard 200 chart.
"Warp Riders" marks the first release where the group has worked with an outside producer. Helmed by Matt Bayles (PEARL JAM, MASTODON, ISIS), the album is anchored by an epic science-fiction narrative. The storyline is a psychedelic space opera that explores temporal themes of death and rebirth. "Warp Riders" also finds THE SWORD expanding its range from pure metal to include bone-crunching hard rock at large. Rather than dampening its sound, the band actually sounds more amplified than ever, spewing out some of its most scalding riffs to date and channeling an unearthly bellow from its low end.
In a recent interview with Decibel magazine, THE SWORD guitarist/vocalist John "J. D." Cronise stated about the latest effort, "This is what you'd technically call a 'concept album,' though I'd describe it as more of a soundtrack to a story I came up with. All the songs are about aspects of the story, but they don't cover every detail from beginning to end. It's a science fiction story, and it deals heavily with themes of light and dark and perceptions of time. One of the main settings is a planet, which has experienced tidal locking, creating a side of perpetual day and a side of perpetual night. The reason for creating a narrative to base the songs around was essentially to provide interesting and varied lyrical subject matter with a core theme to tie it all together."
After an amicable split with drummer Trivett Wingo forced THE SWORD to cancel a number of U.S. tour dates, the band recently found someone to fill in for behind-the-kit duties and has just hit the road again. Joining them on the current run is Kevin Fender, best known for his work with the Texas hardcore outfit EMPLOYER, EMPLOYEE.