The Sword is an American heavy metal band that formed in Austin, Texas, in 2003. Since its inception, the band has comprised vocalist and guitarist John "J. D." Cronise, guitarist Kyle Shutt and bassist Bryan Richie, and currently includes touring drummer Kevin Fender following Trivett Wingo's departure in November 2010. Signed to New York-based independent label Kemado Records, the group released debut album Age of Winters in 2006, which was largely written by Cronise prior to the band's formation. The band's second album, Gods of the Earth, was released two years later and gave the group its first Billboard 200 chart entry. The Sword's third album, Warp Riders (2010), is a concept album centered on an original science fiction narrative written by Cronise.
While commonly labelled as a doom metal band, The Sword has also been identified as an example of the 'retro metal' movement of stoner rock artists influenced by early metal bands such as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Blue Cheer. In addition to Sabbath, to whom the band is commonly compared, artists such as Sleep, Melvins and Slayer have been cited as influences by members of the band. The Sword is held in generally high regard by music critics, and has toured on a number of occasions with high-profile bands such as Trivium, Lamb of God and Metallica.