Austin, Texas’ the Sword will be opening for Metallica at the Verizon Center this week, but if dinosaur bands well past their prime aren’t really your thing, you can catch everyone’s favorite “D&Dragons-core” band the night before at the Rock & Roll Hotel. A straightforward four-piece group specializing in Black Sabbath-influenced doomy stoner metal, the Sword set themselves apart with hooky riffs, generally upbeat melodies, and shamelessly nerdy lyrics (aided and abetted by gratuitous album art) about knights and dragons. The band played to a sold-out crowd at Rock & Roll Hotel several months ago, touring in support of last year’s Gods of the Earth. It’s a hell of a leap from headlining at a 400-capacity club to opening up at the Verizon Center, but if there’s any modern metal band that combines ironic indie cred with (relative) mainstream accessibility, the Sword is it.

THE SWORD PERFORMS AT 8 P.M. WITH NIHILITIA AND YEAR LONG DISASTER AT THE ROCK & ROLL HOTEL, 1353 H ST. NE. $15. (202) 388-7625.

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