The Sword, Kyuss Lives!, Monstro

Last year was quite a year for the young Austin metal-lords in The Sword. After a two-year recording layoff, the band released its third album, Warp Riders. Then powerful drummer Trivett Wingo left the group due to exhaustion and anxiety just days after the Sword played the Austin City Limits Music Festival in October. Tough to blame him.

Since 2003, the band has been working hard on the forefront of stoner beard-metal, although lately they have been moving into more Thin Lizzy-textured areas in both lyrics and riffs, as in Warp Riders' "Night City" and "Tres Brujas." Touring the world with the likes of Metallica for a great deal of 2008 and 2009 probably played no small part in the band's newfound shine.

Joined by a Josh Homme-less Kyuss (hence the altered name) and Atlanta upstart Monstro, this should be one brutal Sunday night. Like a wise man once said, sleep and sobriety are overrated.

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