The Sword is an American heavy metal band from Austin, Texas. Formed in 2003, the band is currently composed of vocalist and guitarist John D. Cronise, guitarist Kyle Shutt, bassist Bryan Richie and drummer Santiago "Jimmy" Vela III.
Originally signed to Kemado Records, the group released its debut album Age of Winters in 2006, the material for which had been largely written by Cronise (who also produced the album) prior to the band's formation. Gods of the Earth (which was also produced by the band's frontman) was released two years later, giving the group its first entry on the US Billboard 200 chart when it reached number 102.
In 2010 the band released Warp Riders, a concept album centered on an original science fiction narrative written primarily by Cronise, which marked the first time the group had enlisted an external producer in Matt Bayles. Original drummer Trivett Wingo left the group later in the year and was replaced briefly by Kevin Fender, before Vela joined in late 2011. After signing with Razor & Tie in early 2012, the group released its fourth album Apocryphon later in the year, which was promoted worldwide on the Apocryphon Tour. The band's fifth studio album High Country was released in August 2015, followed by their sixth Used Future in March 2018.
During its early career, The Sword was categorized primarily as a doom metal band, with the group's members citing bands including Black Sabbath and Sleep as influences. In recent years, the group's style has generally been classified as hard rock or stoner rock. The Sword has toured with a wide range of fellow rock and metal artists since its formation, including Metallica, Lamb of God and Clutch, and in recent years has also headlined its own tours. The band's debut Age of Winters failed to chart, but subsequent releases have all gained increasing commercial success in the US and the UK, with High Country also charting in other regions.