The Sword

After spending two years on the road with Metallica, the Sword have returned to their hometown of Austin, Texas to begin tracking their forthcoming third LP, which will be in stores before the end of 2010, according to the band's label, Kemado Records. For the first time in the Sword's brief yet illustrious career, they'll be sharing the creative process with an outsider.

Both 2006's 'Age of Winters' and 2008's 'Gods of the Earth' were self-produced by the Sword. But for the third album, they've called on producer extraordinaire Matt Bayles to helm things. Bayles has worked with the likes of Mastodon, Isis, the Blood Brothers and Pearl Jam. According to a statement, the disc is being recorded "at an undisclosed location deep inside the secret marijuana forest adjacent to Waller Creek."

The Sword, who will be performing March 16 in Austin with Motörhead, told Noisecreep back in November thatthis forthcoming LP would stray from the sorts of subjects the band's tackled in the past, and instead have a science fiction concept. "Given the types of themes we'd covered already, I didn't really want to revisit the same stuff again on another record and talk about the same things and doom and gloom and sorcerers and ravens and things," frontman J.D. Cronise told us. "So we just kind of wanted to change it up and do something a little different."

Inspired by surrealist French comic books and the movie 'Dune,' the record has a psychedelic feel, Cronise said. "It will absolutely alienate some fans," he said. "The kind of music we play is partially described as heavy metal and unfortunately, a lot of dudes that like heavy metal are very narrow-minded and only like it to sound one particular way. So I'm sure we alienated people with our second album. There'll definitely still be heavy stuff on the record, and fast, thrashy, and slow and sludgy stuff like we've done before.

"But a lot of the songs are just what I'd call hard rock songs. The attitude and the vibe is different. It's not as aggressive, sonically. It's a little bit more ... I don't know how to explain it. It's just rock. It's a rock album. Some parts will be heavier than the heaviest stuff we've done, but at the same time, there will be acoustic stuff. It is a varied record, I guess."

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