Smoulder
Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring


3.8
excellent

Review

by manosg STAFF
April 24th, 2019 | 24 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Atmospheric and evocative, Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring is a great slab of epic doom metal.

Over the last years, Canada has given us some of the best underground heavy metal. From Borrowed Time and Tales of Medusa, to Manacle, Possessed Steel and Traveler, the scene is brimming with potential. A common trait among those acts is their impressive ability to bring together a number of influences but still retain their personal style and identity.

Smoulder is no exception to this rule, as their epic doom metal will bring Solitude Aeturnus, Candlemass and Solstice to your mind, even though they’re not afraid to go into an early-Blind Guardian power metal mode as evident on “Bastard Steel”, the LPs fastest song. Actually, the first half of the album is faster and revolves more around epic doom compared to the slower second half. Judging from opener “Ilian of Garathorm”, one may compare the Canadians to Eternal Champion. However, the Americans lean more towards traditional metal and have a more barbaric tone to their music, compared to the epic doom mystical atmosphere of this one. Nevertheless, a common trait between the two, is that both of them create a Moorcock-inspired universe, which can also be deduced by looking at the cover art, and works like a charm. That, combined with Sarah Ann’s dramatic approach to singing, creates a cinematic atmosphere which, to my mind at least, exudes an aura of ‘80s Swords and Sorcery films like The Beastmaster, Dragonslayer and Deathstalker.

Two notable differences between Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring and the EP that preceded it, are the significantly improved performance especially on guitars (check “The Sword Woman”) and the more engaging songwriting. The Canadians’ debut is quite consistent and, unlike their neighbors Toronto Raptors, delivers even on its final stages on its longest track, the monolithic for the album’s standards, Reverend Bizarre-influenced, “Black God's Kiss”.

Overall, the LP will please equally fans of epic doom and epic traditional metal, as it brings together the best of both worlds, while the production, handled by Arthur Rizk (Eternal Champion, Sumerlands), has made Smoulder’s sound bigger. It’s not an exaggeration to put this one on the same level as Eternal Champion’s The Armor of Ire and Visigoth’s Conqueror's Oath as one of the best modern traditional metal albums, and given that these guys continue to improve, we might be up for something really special in the future.




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Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2019


11672 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Impressive debut.

Digging: Arch/Matheos - Winter Ethereal

TheNotrap
April 24th 2019


10671 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sounds great, will jam it in the next couple of days



Nice review as always, manosg

Digging: Deathspell Omega - The Furnaces of Palingenesia

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2019


11672 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Thanks dude, I appreciate it!



I remember you digging Sorcerer a lot, so you'll probably enjoy this one too even though it's not up to Sorcerer's level.

Ebola
April 24th 2019


3577 Comments


damn gotta check this
you always come through with the sweet recs

DarkHorizontal
April 24th 2019


126 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

rules. still waiting on my pre-order. also immense praise manosg for keeping it trve around here.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2019


11672 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Thanks guys, really appreciate the kind words. This needs all the love it can get on here.

TheNotrap
April 24th 2019


10671 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

“I remember you digging Sorcerer a lot, so you'll probably enjoy this one too even though it's not up to Sorcerer's level.”



No one is at Sorcerer’s level these days ;)

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2019


11672 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

haha true!

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2019


8322 Comments


Sorcerer nowadays are top tier adult oriented epic doom metal, whereas the Smoulder album is a bit rawer in design.

Digging: Minuit Machine - Infrarouge

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
April 24th 2019


15834 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm loving this. Great write-up manosg.

Digging: Full of Hell - Weeping Choir

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 25th 2019


11672 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Cheers Dewi, glad you're enjoying this one. Been jamming it non-stop the last few days as well.

InbredJed
April 25th 2019


6587 Comments


Manosg you are keeping it so real. I live in Canada and yet I am ignorant of this music until I read your write ups.

Looking forward to spinning this as well as the other bands you listed.

Keep rocking brother!

frozencarl
April 25th 2019


660 Comments


dope review. modern traditional heavy metal has been absolutely thriving lately

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 25th 2019


11672 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Absolutely! Check Tales of Medusa guys, not a new release per se but definitely worth your time.



Really appreciate the kind words InbredJed and always nice to see you around!

rockandmetaljunkie
April 25th 2019


7868 Comments


is this one of the cases when an album's front cover completely betrays the context ?

BallsToTheWall
April 25th 2019


49617 Comments


Rips hard!

Digging: Pantera - Power Metal

TheNotrap
April 27th 2019


10671 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That kind of speed metal riff at Bastard Steel gets me every time

RunOfTheMill
April 28th 2019


3961 Comments


@junkie, judging by the review, I wouldn't say that's the case!

Definitely checking this out, great revy manos! Love the Raptors jab haha

Small hiccup, it's "works like a charm" in the second paragraph

StrikeOfTheBeast
April 28th 2019


6918 Comments


Will check for sure.

Digging: Intruder - Live to Die

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2019


11672 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Cheers, Run! Had to include that Raptors line haha, although I hope Kawhi helps them make a solid run this year.



Hope both you and Strike enjoy this one.



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