The fourth studio album from Austin, Texas? torch-bearers of old-school heavy metal marks a second chapter. With 2012?s Apocryphon, The Sword unveils a new engine to propel the band. As their original drummer Trivett Wingo left following 2010?s intergalactic conceptual album Warp Riders, the hard-driving and ham-fisted Santiago "Jimmy" Vela III now sits behind the kit. And now signed to Razor & Tie, producer J. Robbins gives the album a slick mix while still retaining those oversaturated tones of hulking, vintage, tube amps cranked to 11. This means that even when set to a low volume, opening cut _The Veil of Isis‚ still comes thundering out from your speakers like a sonic juggernaut. Built on a foundation of Sabbathian sludge, _Cloak Of Feathers‚ kicks out big, bludgeoning, bellbottomed riffs as J.D. Cronise muses on the majesty of womankind with soaring inflections that intersect at Ozzy Osborne?s throaty croon and Bobby Liebling doomy howl. _The Hidden Masters‚ works in some heavy mellowness a-la _Planet Caravan‚ while _Dying Earth, drops hammers like the almighty Thor.