You want a double-edged Sword? You got it. The dark-hearted Austin metal outfit are brandishing not one but two new compilations this month. First up: The triple-album Conquest Of Kingdoms, which collects more than two dozen live recordings (most recorded at home-town clubs and bars), rarities and covers of everyone from fellow Texans ZZ Top to influences and icons like KISS and Pentagram. The companion set (which was due to be simultaneously released, but hasn’t surfaced online yet, so who knows if it got delayed or what?) is the even-more-massive Chronology 2006-2018, a 52-song compilation of the outfit’s greatest hits, fan favourites and other tracks that made the cut. Granted, unless you’ve been paying attention to these bruisers, a lot of this might be new to you. But take it from a guy who saw them back in the day at SXSW: There’s no better time to get up to speed.
THE PRESS RELEASE: “It’s been two years since the Austin, TX heavy rockers decided to take a break, but The Sword are unsheathed once more: 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, oddities and live recordings of fan favorites like Freya, Iron Swan and Fire Lances of the Ancient Hyperzephyrians, as well as cover versions of Nasty Dogs and Funky Kings (ZZ Top), She (KISS), Forever My Queen (Pentagram) and more. 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.”