Hot off the heels of their well-received Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring debut, Canadian epic doomsters SMOULDER close the first chapter of their career with the “Dream Quest Ends” EP!
A snapshot of 2019 for Canada’s SMOULDER reveals a series of accomplishments most bands would die for: Several sold-out vinyl pressings of their first full-length album, “Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring”, invites to European festivals and inclusion on multiple best-of 2019 lists, including Decibel magazine, Metal Sucks, Metal Hammer Greece and Last Rites. The year was, in every sense, a resounding success for a band who formed in 2013 and only had one demo to its name prior to “Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring”’s release.
As a way to close the chapter on the “Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring” cycle, SMOULDER is releasing the “Dream Quest Ends” EP, which features two new songs, a cover of Manilla Road’s “Cage of Mirrors,” as well as the three cuts from their debut 2018 “The Sword Woman” demo. The artwork for Dream Quest Ends was handled by Michael Whelan, who also lent his iconic artistry to the “Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring” cover.
“Dream Quest Ends” was recorded in Toronto and Chicago in October 2019 at Swift Road Studios (Chicago) and in Toronto at DNA Music Labs. The two new compositions, “Dream Quest Ends” and “Warrior Witch of Hel” were written by drummer Kevin Hester several years ago and were molded into a “more Smoulder-esque” sound, complete with more lead guitars and choir-like vocal parts. While these two cuts serve as the last remaining songs from the band’s demo and “Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring” period, they offer up a more bluesy and psychedelic take from the band’s first LP, as well as quiet acoustic parts and dueling vocals.
SMOULDER’s cover of “Cage of Mirrors” pays appropriate homage to Manilla Road leader Mark Shelton, who passed away in July 2018. The idea for the cover came from guitarist Vincent, who cited the song’s emotional vocal delivery and epic story-driven occult sword and sorcery lyrics as the perfect fit for the band. And once vocalist Sarah Ann worked to match Shelton’s wavering, unusual delivery (complete with his growls and laughs), their cover of “Cage of Mirrors” fell into place.
“Dream Quest Ends” may conclude the end of the first chapter of SMOULDER’s career (hence, the title), but the band has already made an indelible impression on doom denizens the world over. With one triumphant album and an EP in the books, SMOULDER will devote most of 2020 to the live front before taking some time to recharge and regroup for their next adventure.
“Warrior Witch of Hell” – Official Track Stream: https://smoulder.bandcamp.com
1. Dream Quest Ends (5:32)
2. Warrior Witch of Hell (5:54)
3. Cage of Mirrors (Manilla Road Cover) (8:43)
4. Sword Woman (Demo) (5:17)
5. Voyage of the Sunchaser (Demo) (5:32)
6. The Queen is Gone (Demo) (6:02)
Sarah Ann – Vocals
Shon Vincent – Guitars
Collin Wolf – Guitars
Adam Blake – Bass
Kevin Hester – Drums