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The Sword 

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 25. Creepy Crawl (3524 Washington Boulevard).

After looking at some of today's metal sub-genres — grindcore, thrash, death, black, doom, rap or nü — it appears that bands must specialize or die. Some of these specializations are true evolutionary steps that advance the field of heavy music — but really, what's wrong with just plugging in, turning it up and rockin' out? Those who answered "nothing" will be pleased to know that Austin's the Sword cuts the crap and, refreshingly, does just the latter scenario. The band's debut album, Age of Winters, tells of sorcery, horned goddesses, ancient battles and the slaying of spider priests, tales adorned with nothing more than killer riffs. If one freely worships at the temples of Iommi, Osbourne, Ward and Butler, then embrace the kindred spirits in the Sword.

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