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. It might seem impossible to keep anything private in the modern age of Facebook and Twitter where everyone's dirty laundry is up for a comment. Nevertheless, the most impactful art remains the most mysterious.
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."
Cronise elaborates, "The music is also lyrically different. There's not as much storytelling as on previous albums. There are songs about real life subjects. Warp Riders was a big undertaking. I wrote a sci-fi story, and we made a record about it. This was more stream-of-consciousness. In a way, I realized music as a vehicle for expressing my own views and thoughts. I shied away from that before in favor of entertaining people with colorful narratives. This is where I'm at."