Smoulder – Violent Creed Of Vengeance
Founded in 2013 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the band has migrated and become international, picking up members from Finland and the United States, according to some sources. Smoulder blends Epic, Heavy, and Doom Metal, putting their own flair into the music to generate something new and modern, full of bold tones and brazen rhythms. The band is a five-piece, female-fronted powerhouse with a penchant for dramatic, cinematic songs that will challenge your ear to catch all the nuance they layer in.
- Sarah Ann – Vocals
- Collin Wolf – Guitars
- Shon Vincent – Guitars
- Adam Blake – Bass
- Kevin Hester – Drums
April 21, 2023 – Cruz Del Sur Music https://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com/
- Violent Creed Of Vengeance
- The Talisman And The Blade
- Midnight In The Mirror World
- Path Of Witchery
- Victims Of Fate
- Dragonslayer’s Doom
The title track starts the album with a heavy rhythm and dramatic guitar work. The guitars spend much time in harmony, even for the leads and fills, but they can. And do, separate, and show their individual skills. The drum phrases shift and change with different guitar phrases, and the bass stays well attuned to the rhythm, holding the line while everyone else goes on separate tangents. The vocals have a lot of warble and vibrato, adding texture to the tones.
Smolder’s compositions are pretty epic, going for big, bold, heavy arrangements and intricate songwriting. There is a lot of lead work from the guitars filling in areas between the verses and choruses. “The Talisman And The Blade” is an excellent example of this as the leads are almost more present than the voice, but then a guitar doesn’t have to take a breath or work towards carrying the next lyric line.
“Midnight In The Mirror World” continues the intricate lead work but drops the tempo, angling more towards the Doom Metal end of the band’s sound. At almost seven minutes long, this track has time to roam through more than one genre, skirting Progressive Metal and embracing Doom and Power Metal. “Path Of Witchery” takes the exact opposite tack, going straight for Power Metal and never letting off the gas. Both songs sound like they belong on the record. You can tell it’s the same band, and they are equally comfortable in either realm.
The next track again shows their love for more extended, complex compositions. “Victims Of Fate” is over seven minutes, yet still not the longest song. More Power Metal influences show here, with the bass taking on a lead role, coming to the front to help shift from one section to the next. The backing vocals also really pop on this track, sounding more like a choir than anything else. The only sub-four-minute track follows. “Spellforger” is a fast-paced song that will rock you’re your world. All of that is a great build-up for the final track.
“Dragonslayer’s Doom” is the culmination of everything that has gotten us to this point on the album. It has the Power Metal, especially the intricate leads from guitar and bass; it has complex drum patterns, is almost 10 minutes long, and is the quintessential Power Metal song. It also has some Doom tempos and a few Progressive Metal elements sprinkled in for good measure. This is the ultimate Smoulder song.
Whether you think the 10-minute Epic track is the best or you prefer the faster “Spellforger,” there is something for you on this album. No matter what instrument you prefer, there is something for you to love on this album. Seven songs, over 40 minutes of killer music, each instrument getting to show out at times, what’s not to love?
- Guitars – 8
- Rhythms – 8
- Vocals – 8
- Songwriting – 9
- Production – 8
- Overall – 8.20