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 D. Cronise, guitarist Kyle Shutt and bassist Bryan Richie, and since October 2011 has included drummer Santiago "Jimmy" Vela. 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. Warp Riders, a concept album centered on an original science fiction narrative, was released in August 2010.