It’s been two years since the Austin, Texas heavy rockers decided to take a break, but The Sword are unsheathed once more: Two career-spanning collections will be released simultaneously, both showcasing the technically dazzling, riff-heavy and far-reaching metal that the band has been known for since forming 15 years ago.
Conquest of Kingdoms, an explosive three-disc vinyl collection of rarities and oddities, offers 30 tracks (16 previously unreleased) and is housed in a triple-gatefold package, including B-sides, remixes and live recordings of fan favourites like “Freya,” “Iron Swan” and “Fire Lances of the Ancient Hyperzephyrians,” as well as cover versions of “Immigrant Song” (Led Zeppelin), “Nasty Dogs and Funky Kings” (ZZ Top), “She” (KISS), “Forever My Queen” (Pentagram) and more. In addition to the standard vinyl release, a limited-edition colour variant (1,000 pressings worldwide) will also be available exclusively via TheSwordOfficial.comCraftRecordings.com, as well as independent retailers. A truncated digital version will also be available.
Chronology 2006–2018 is a three-disc CD compendium, which — in addition to the aforementioned rarities — also includes The Sword’s greatest hits and fan favourites. Distilling the band’s complete discography, this collection comprises 52 tracks (12 previously unreleased), including the studio recordings of “Freya,” “Iron Swan,” “Cloak of Feathers” and “Deadly Nightshade.” The set also features expansive new liner notes with contributions from the band, plus Lars Ulrich (Metallica), Mark Morton (Lamb of God), and Neil Fallon (Clutch).
Both titles will be released on June 5th and are available for pre-order today. Accompanying the pre-order is an advance single of a previously unreleased version of “Freya,” recorded live at Stubbs in Austin, Texas in 2011. Listen to the track and pre-save/pre-order Conquest of Kingdoms here.
Hailing from Austin, Texas, The Sword draw from a wide array of influences and hard-rock genres. First conceived in 2003, the band hit their stride about a year later, when founding vocalist and guitarist J.D. Cronise joined forces with guitarist Kyle Shutt, bassist Bryan Richie, and drummer Trivett Wingo for a much raved-about appearance at Austin’s famed SXSW festival. National touring stints with everyone from Clutch to indie rock darlings …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead followed, and by 2006, The Sword released their highly anticipated debut album, Age of Winters.
From there they went on to release seven further studio albums; tour with the likes of Metallica, Lamb of God, Trivium, Kyuss Lives! and Opeth; and see their music reach millions through placements in the Guitar Hero video game series (“Freya”) and the cult classic film Jennifer’s Body (“Celestial Crown”).
Over their 17-year career, The Sword have proven themselves to be one of the most prolific and revered bands in metal — not only by fans, but also by the media and their peers.
In the Chronology package liner notes, Lars Ulrich exclaims, “The Sword blew my mind. The best music always sounds like it threads through, and is part of, some sort of lineage, some sort of continuity, some sort of history, but always with its own additional X factor… For me, they were one of the few with that aforementioned additional X factor, so we should absolutely celebrate their inspirational music.”
Mark Morton recollects, “The Sword was a band I had been waiting for… a band that I wished I was in… a heavy blues, acid rock, psychedelic, intergalactic riff paradise. In my estimation, The Sword was the perfect blend of Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Sleep, and Clutch… somehow familiar yet incredibly fresh at the same time.”
Neil Fallon adds, “The phrase ‘world building’ is usually reserved for science fiction and fantasy. But I think you could apply it to The Sword as well. The lyrics and music capture the spirit of what first attracted me to heavy metal, namely, the escapism. There’s only a handful of bands that do this convincingly, and The Sword is one of them.”
These two new collections provide a comprehensive and unrivalled deep-dive experience into the band’s career, making them an essential addition to the collection of any fan of heavy music. Now, with the double release of Conquest of Kingdoms and Chronology 2006–2018, The Sword have complied an extensive and essential collection that celebrates their legacy and impressive back catalogue.
Bryan Richie says that it was simply the right time to revisit the band’s career thus far. “We’ve got all these exclusive 7”s and a split record or two, that were pressed in 1,000 quantities — maybe people heard those tracks on a YouTube stream in not really the greatest quality,” he says. “As the band had gone on hiatus, we had this wealth of material to share including live sets — things that were sitting on my hard drive for years, things that were given to me at shows. It seemed like the right time.”
John D. Cronise describes the differences between the two formats and the methodology for compiling these: “The CD package will be more of a career retrospective with selections from each of our albums as well as the rarities and B-sides and things. Sort of a mini box set, you could say. The set will include a booklet with essays and photos, to make it special and extra. Whereas the LP release [Conquest of Kingdoms] is more streamlined, with just the B-side and rarities material. Personally for me, that’s what’s exciting about the releases. A lot of that stuff I never thought would see the light of day but I always thought was really cool and was proud of.”
The Sword recently announced that they will be hitting the road to tour North America with Primus on their A Tribute to Kings tour performing Rush material. The band will also be playing a number of headline shows. Tickets and full info available here: www.theswordofficial.com.
“I’m always ready to play riffs with my dudes, so we’ll see where it goes from here,” says Richie. “Maybe The Sword will come out of hibernation every once in a while to play some shows or tour — whatever it is, I’m here for it. Hopefully, it’ll become a thing. Virus permitting.”
Both titles are available to pre-order now. Click here for Conquest of Kingdoms, or click here for Chronology 2006–2018. Special bundles are also available through CraftRecordings.com and TheSwordOfficial.com.

VINYL TRACK LISTING

Side A
1. The Horned Goddess (live)*
2. Barael’s Blade (live)*
3. Lament for the Aurochs (live)*
4. Iron Swan (live)*

Side B
1. The Sundering (live)*
2. Fire Lances of the Ancient Hyperzephyrians (live)*
3. The Black River (live)*
4. The White Sea (live)*

Side C
1. Sea of Spears (live)*
2. Freya (live)*
3. Night City (live)*
4. The Chronomancer II: Nemesis (live)

Side D
1. He’s Waiting (C Average Version)
2. Sea of Spears
3. Immigrant Song
4. Nasty Dogs and Funky Kings
5. Codex Corvidae
6. Freya ‘08*

Side E
1. Forever My Queen*
2. She*
3. Daughter of Dawn
4. Farstar
5. Cold Sweat
6. Cheap Sunglasses

Side F
1. Hammer of Heaven
2. Hexenringe
3. Seriously Mysterious (Level One Remix)*
4. John the Revelator
5. Turnt to Dust*
6. Serpent Weather

* previously unreleased.
DIGITAL TRACK LISTING

1.The Horned Goddess (Live)*
2. Barael’s Blade (Live)*
3. Lament for the Aurochs (Live)*
4. Iron Swan (Live)*
5. The Sundering (Live)*
6. Fire Lances of the Ancient Hyperzephyrians (Live)*
7. The Black River (Live)*
8. The White Sea (Live)*
9. Sea of Spears (Live)*
10. Freya (Live)*
11. Night City (Live)*
12. The Chronomancer II: Nemesis (Live)
13. He’s Waiting (C Average Version)
14. Nasty Dogs and Funky Kings
15. Freya ‘08*
16. Forever My Queen*
17. She*
18. Daughter of Dawn
19. Farstar
20. Cheap Sunglasses
21. Hammer of Heaven
22. Hexenringe
23. Seriously Mysterious (Level One Remix)*
24. John the Revelator
25. Turnt to Dust
26. Serpent Weather

* previously unreleased.

Disc 1

1. Freya
2. Winter’s Wolves
3. The Horned Goddess
4. Iron Swan
5. How Heavy This Axe
6. Fire Lances of the Ancient Hyperzephyrians
7. Maiden, Mother & Crone
8. The Black River
9. Acheron/Unearthing the Orb
10. Lawless Lands
11. The Warp Riders
12. (The Night the Sky Cried) Tears of Fire
13. The Horned Goddess (live)*
14. Barael’s Blade (live)*
15. Lament for the Aurochs (live)*
16. Iron Swan (live)*

Disc 2

1.Cloak of Feathers
2.Dying Earth
3 Seven Sisters
4.Apocryphon
5.Empty Temples
6. Mist & Shadow
7.Early Snow
8.The Dreamthieves
9.Seriously Mysterious (acoustic)
10. Buzzards (acoustic)
11. Deadly Nightshade
12. Sea of Green
13. Used Future
14. Come and Gone
15. Sea of Spears (live)*
16. Freya (live)*
17. Night City (live)*
18. The Chronomancer II: Nemesis (live
Disc 3

1.He’s Waiting (C Average Version)
2.Sea of Spears
3.Immigrant Song
4.Nasty Dogs and Funky Kings
5.Codex Corvidae
6.Freya ’08*
7.Forever My Queen*
8.She*
9. Daughter of Dawn
10. Farstar
11. Cold Sweat
12. Cheap Sunglasses
13. Hammer of Heaven
14. Hexenringe
15. Seriously Mysterious (Level One Remix)*
16. John the Revelator
17. Turnt to Dust*
18. Serpent Weather

Tuesday, May 26 – Irving, TX @ Pavilion at Toyota Factory
Wednesday, May 27 – Houston, TX @ Revention Music Center
Friday, May 29 – Austin, TX @ ACL Live at The Moody Theater
Saturday, May 30 – New Orleans, LA @ Saenger Theatre
Monday, June 1 – Asheville, NC @ Exploreasheville.com Arena
Tuesday, June 2 – Birmingham, AL @ Zydeco*
Wednesday, June 3 – Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live
Thursday, June 4 – Tampa, FL @ Orpheum*
Friday, June 5 – Atlanta, GA @ Coca-Cola Roxy
Saturday, June 6 – Charlotte, NC @ Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre
Sunday, June 7 – Raleigh, NC @ Red Hat Amphitheater
Tuesday, June 9 – Cincinnati, OH @ Express Live! Amphitheater
Wednesday, June 10 – Columbus, OH @ Express Live! Amphitheater
Thursday, June 11 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Majestic Theater*
Friday, June 12 – Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
Saturday, June 13 – Indianapolis, IN @ Vogue*
Monday, June 15 – Richmond, VA @ Virginia Credit Union Live!
Tuesday, June 16 – Baltimore, MD @ MECU Pavilion
Wednesday, June 17 – New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre
Saturday, June 20 – Ashbury Park, NJ @ Stone Pony Summer Stage
Sunday, June 21 – Essex Junction, VT @ Midway Lawn at Champlain Valley Expo
Tuesday, June 23 – Boston, MA @ Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion
Wednesday, June 24 – Wallingford, CT @ Oakdale Theatre
Thursday, June 25 – Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place*
Friday, June 26 – Sterling Heights, MI @ Freedom Amphitheatre
Saturday, June 27 – Cleveland, OH @ Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica
Sunday, June 28 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
Tuesday, June 30 – Toronto, ON @ RBC Echo Beach
Wednesday, July 1 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle*
Thursday, July 2 – St. Louis, MO @ Ready Room*
Friday, July 3 – Oklahoma City, OK @ 89th Street**Headline Show
Click here to pre-save/pre-order Conquest of Kingdoms
Click here to pre-order Chronology: 2006–2018