Age of Winters is the debut album by American heavy metal band The Sword, released in the United States on February 14, 2006.[1][2] The Japanese edition, released by record label Toy's Factory, contains three bonus tracks recorded live at the CBGB club in New York City[3] on April 9, 2006.[4] The single released from the album was "Freya",[5] which did not chart. Age of Winters was later reissued as part of a two-disc box set with Gods of the Earth on November 25, 2008.[1][6]

Age of Winters
TheSword AgeOfWinters.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 14, 2006
(release history)
Recorded2005 (2005) at Folkvang Studios, Austin, Texas
GenreHeavy metal, doom metal, stoner metal
ProducerJ. D. Cronise
The Sword chronology
Age of Winters
The Sword/Witchcraft split
Singles from Age of Winters
  1. "Freya"
    Released: September 4, 2008 (UK only)


Professional ratings
Review scores
allmusic     [7]
Blender     [8]
PopMatters          [9]

The Sword's debut album received a widely positive critical reaction. Reviewing for music website allmusic, critic Eduardo Rivadavia awarded Age of Winters 4.5 out of 5 rating stars, qualifying it as an "AMG Album Pick".[10] In the review, Rivadavia claims that the band's debut record "sees them joining California's High on Fire, Sweden's Witchcraft, and Australia's Wolfmother (to name but a few) at the forefront of what's gradually become known in the mid-'00s as the "heritage" or "retro-metal" movement."[10] He goes on to suggest that "the album's main attraction [is] its megalithic guitar work," concluding that "Age of Winters provides [...] listeners with as good an entryway as any into the "retro-metal" universe, while also managing to sound refreshing even to calloused heavy metal ears," which, he suggests, "is no small achievement."[10]

Other reviews of Age of Winters were similarly positive – webzine PopMatters, awarded the album a favorable rating of seven out of ten, describing it as "one fine, headbang-inducing beast of a debut record,"[11] while The Austin Chronicle summarised the album as "literate" and "visceral".[12]

In popular cultureEdit

"Freya" appears as a playable song in Guitar Hero II and again in Guitar Hero Smash Hits and on the soundtrack of Burnout Dominator, and wayne (TV series). "Barael's Blade" was used in the season five American Dad! episode "Rapture's Delight". "Celestial Crown" is featured on the Jennifer's Body soundtrack. "Iron Swan" appears in the 2006 video game Tony Hawk's Project 8 and also appears in season nine American Dad! episode "Minstrel Krampus".

Track listingEdit

All lyrics are written by J. D. Cronise; all music is composed by The Sword.

1."Celestial Crown" (instrumental)1:57
2."Barael's Blade"2:48
4."Winter's Wolves"4:36
5."The Horned Goddess"5:01
6."Iron Swan"5:46
7."Lament for the Aurochs"7:59
8."March of the Lor" (instrumental in eight movements)4:41
Total length:42:57
Japanese edition
10."Barael's Blade" (live at the CBGB)3:02
11."Iron Swan" (live at the CBGB)5:48
12."March of the Lor" (live at the CBGB)5:06
Total length:56:53


Release historyEdit

Region Date Label Format Catalog[13]
United States February 14, 2006 Kemado CD album KEM 027[1]
Europe March 27, 2006 Kemado CD album KEM 032[14]
United States July 18, 2006 Kemado LP album KEM 029[1]
Europe January 29, 2007 Kemado LP album KEM 048[15]
Japan May 2, 2007 Toy's Factory CD album TFCK-87417[16]


  1. ^ a b c d "The Sword". Kemado Records. Archived from the original on 2008-06-11. Retrieved 2008-10-04.
  2. ^ "Age of Winters > Overview". allmusic. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
  3. ^ "The Sword - Age Of Winters (CD/Japan)". The Sword. Archived from the original on May 31, 2009. Retrieved 2008-11-26.
  4. ^ "Tour dates 2006". The Sword. Archived from the original on February 6, 2009. Retrieved 2008-11-26.
  5. ^ "Freya/Iron Swan > Overview". allmusic. Retrieved 2008-10-09.
  6. ^ "The Sword: Release Limited Edition Box Set". Sonic Dice. 2008-11-21. Archived from the original on 2008-12-06. Retrieved 2009-01-30.
  7. ^ allmusic review
  8. ^ Blender review
  9. ^ PopMatters review
  10. ^ a b c Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Age of Winters > Review". allmusic. Retrieved December 19, 2009.
  11. ^ Begrand, Adrien (February 20, 2006). "The Sword: Age of Winters". PopMatters. Retrieved December 19, 2009.
  12. ^ Schroeder, Audra (February 3, 2006). "Winter's Wolves: The Sword's land of ice and snow". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved December 19, 2009.
  13. ^ "The Sword - Age Of Winters". The Sword. Archived from the original on 6 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-19.
  14. ^ "The Sword - Age Of Winters (CD/Europe)". The Sword. Archived from the original on May 31, 2009. Retrieved 2008-11-26.
  15. ^ "The Sword - Age Of Winters (LP/USA)". The Sword. Archived from the original on May 31, 2009. Retrieved 2008-11-26.
  16. ^ "The Sword" (in Japanese). Toy's Factory Records. Archived from the original on 2008-05-28. Retrieved 2008-10-18.