The Sword was long ago stamped with the epithet “hipster metal,” and that didn’t change with the release of its third album, Warp Riders. The purity police weren’t happy when J.D. Cronise and crew were doing straight-up head-cracking heavy metal on their 2006 debut Age Of Winters, and they aren’t going to be any happier now that The Sword has strayed further into psychedelic and hard-rock territory. That’s fine, though; it just leaves more for those who are more interested in the music than the label. The concept of Warp Riders, as is the case with most metal-tinged pseudo-rock operas, is a bit impenetrable, but that shouldn’t make a bit of difference—the music is gripping, intense, and unimpeachably heavy, from the psyched-out mania of “Acheron” to the end. Now signed to Razor & Tie Records, the band is working out material for a fall release of its fourth album.