Let’s all head into the battlefield together with this must-see international Epic Heavy/Doom Metal horde armed with their breathtaking sophomore album.
Playing Epic Heavy/Doom Metal in the tradition of Tales of Medusa, Solitude Aeternus, Manilla Road, early Blind Guardian and Fates Warning, the multinational Smoulder have just unleashed their second full-length opus, titled Violent Creed of Vengeance, the follow-up to their 2019 critically acclaimed debut Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring and their 2020 EP Dream Quest Ends. Recorded at Soundwell Studio by Valtteri Kallio and Jani Snellmain, mixed by Arthur Rizk, mastered by Roland Rodas at Cavern of Echoes, and displaying a beautiful cover Art by Michael Whelan, the album represents a huge step forward in the career of vocalist Sarah Ann, guitarists Shon Vincent and Collin Wolf, bassist Adam Blake and drummer Kevin Hester, featuring seven front-to-back bangers that will surely please all fans of the genre and, therefore, inviting us all to head into the battlefield together with such talented Canadian-American-Finnish metal horde.
Shon and Collin waste no time and begin their epic stringed attack in the opening tune Violent Creed of Vengeance, a battle hymn perfect for raising our horns high in the sky, not to mention the soaring vocals by Sarah add an extra touch of electricity to their music; and it’s then pedal to the metal as it’s time to head into the battlefield to the sound of The Talisman and the Blade, a lesson in Power Metal inspired by that addictive sound form the 80’s, with Kevin being fantastic behind his drums while Adam blasts his bass in the best NWOBHM style. The melodious guitar lines by Shon and Collin permeate the air in Midnight in the Mirror World, where their Doom Metal vein pulses harder than ever. Furthermore, it’s indeed a dark and sinister tune that exhales epicness through its lyrics (“Tenebrous figure / Dwelling deep, within the infinite gates / A foreboding wind blows / With the first stars / He wakes, signaling personal dawn / Gaze across pale nebulas”).
The band then offers a thrilling fusion of the music by Warlock, Iron Maiden and Manowar entitled Path of Witchery, with Sarah kicking some ass on vocals as usual while Kevin sounds bestial behind his drums; whereas the somber narration by English writer Michael Moorcock kicks off another metallic extravaganza entitled Victims of Fate, offering our ears striking riffs and solos, rumbling bass lines and of course the band’s undisputed energy. After such imposing tune, we have a Heavy and Speed Metal attack titled Spellforger, showcasing more of their classy lyrics beautifully declaimed by Sarah (“This impoverished child, distinct from the rest / Their mind contains untold fortitude / Ancient coven sensed their presence / Trained their young as a Spellforger”), and you better get ready for almost ten minutes of epic and doomed Heavy Metal in the form of Dragonslayer’s Doom, with Sarah leading her horde while Adam’s bass lines bring endless intricacy to the overall result. Needless to say, that beautiful epicness goes on until the song’s climatic finale, putting a powerful ending to the album.
You can join Smoulder in their epic quest for heavy music by streaming their fantastic new album Violent Creed of Vengeance in full on YouTube and on Spotify, and of course by purchasing a copy of it from the band’s own BandCamp page, or from the Cruz Del Sur Music webstore as a CD, a red vinyl, a beer vinyl, or a cassette, and don’t forget to also follow the band on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and other nice-to-know details about those Finland-based Canadian metal warriors. Smoulder are definitely growing in a very healthy and exciting manner in the world of heavy music, therefore becoming one of the must-see bands of the current metal scene, and the electricity flowing from Violent Creed of Vengeance will undoubtedly help them to reach new heights and keep carrying the flag of Heavy Metal wherever they go armed with their music.
Best moments of the album: The Talisman and the Blade, Path of Witchery and Spellforger.
Worst moments of the album: None.
Released in 2023 Cruz Del Sur Music
1. Violent Creed of Vengeance 5:05
2. The Talisman and the Blade 4:47
3. Midnight in the Mirror World 6:55
4. Path of Witchery 4:26
5. Victims of Fate 7:41
6. Spellforger 3:31
7. Dragonslayer’s Doom 9:51
Sarah Ann – vocals
Shon Vincent – guitar
Collin Wolf – guitar
Adam Blake – bass
Kevin Hester – drums
Michael Moorcock – narration on “Victims of Fate”