Austin, TX heavy rockers, The Sword have released their rifftastic cover of the Kiss classic “She” today. The track is taken from Chronology 2006 – 2018 and Conquest of Kingdoms, the two career-spanning collections that will be released simultaneously and will cover the band’s career 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, oddities 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. A truncated digital version will also be available. In addition to the standard vinyl release, a limited-edition colour variant (1,000 pressings worldwide) will also be available exclusively via TheSwordOfficial.com as well as independent retailers..

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, TX in 2011.

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.”

Artwork for ‘Conquest of Kingdom’ by The Sword

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.”

Artwork for ‘Chronology 2006-2018’ from The Sword

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.