CD review SMOULDER ‘Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring’

(9/10) There are many reason why Toronto is a great city. There are very friendly and open-minded people, there’s a good vibe in the city, they have with the Toronto Blue Jays a cool, and hopefully soon also successful baseball team, and so on. Furthermore it’s the home base of metal bands like the legendary Anvil and here’s another one.

Smoulder calls Toronto their hometown too and I can report that you should have this band on your metal radar. The quintet from Ontario started 2013 and had a small scale release of a demo entitled ‘The Sword Woman’. Positive reaction on this demo release helped to spread the word of Smoulder being a very talented band. In this context also Cruz Del Sur took notice of the quintet from Toronto and a deal was inked in 2018.

The label deal acted as a boost for Smoulder and work on songs and a debut gained speed, leading to a debut that will hit the shelfs in April this year. Smoulder’s music fits perfectly into Cruz Del Sur’s portfolio. The music of this quintet can be described as Epic Power Metal that picks up a spirit of the late ‘80s when bands like Hexx, Liege Lord and others were leading the scene.

The Ontario-based quintet fuses the best of Power Metal, Epic Metal and Doom Metal. The result of this effort are six excellent anthems that belong to the best the genre has seen for many months. The two main factors, making Smoulder’s debut to a really cool one, are songwriting and vocals.  The Canadian powerhouse has everything in their repertoire – from slow and doom to fast and furious. Although the songs are rather long, with the closer ‘Black God’s Kiss’ being a 9 minutes epos, there isn’t a moment of boredom. A well-embedded variety of tempo and a sense for good melodies ensure a high entertainment throughout.

The second main pillar of Smoulder’s impressive debut are the vocals, delivered by Sarah Ann. She’s definitely one of the best female metal singers I have heard for quite a while. She adds a lot of feel to each of the songs by using her entire vocal range.

All in all I can conclude that Smoulder releases with ‘Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring’ an album that stands out from the huge amount of releases. This debut showcases a band that has the potential to become a bigger player in metal and it will be exciting to follow their next steps. And like stated in the beginning – Toronto is an exciting metropole and bands like Smoulder makes it even more thrilling.


(9/10)

Tracklist:

  1. Ilian of Garathorm
  2. The Sword Woman
  3. Bastard Steel
  4. Voyage of the Sunchaser
  5. Shadowy Sisterhood
  6. Black God’s Kiss

Label: Cruz Del Sur

Genre: Epic Power Metal

Release Date EU: April 19th, 2019

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