Firebrand Canadian epic doomsters SMOULDER will release the “Dream Quest Ends” EP next March via Cruz Del Sur Music.
The follow-up to this year’s critically acclaimed “Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring” will feature two new songs, a cover of MANILLA ROAD’s “Cage Of Mirrors”, as well as all three cuts from the band’s debut 2018 “The Sword Woman” demo, including, for the first time on vinyl, their cover of NIGHTMARE’s “The Queen Is Gone”.
The Vinyl Edition will be available in 3 different colors (PRE-ORDER AVAILABLE):
– REGULAR BLACK VINYL (lmt 400) https://tinyurl.com/
– BONE VINYL (lmt 300) https://tinyurl.com/
– NEON VIOLET (lmt 300) https://tinyurl.com/
– CD https://tinyurl.com/
“Dream Quest Ends” marks the end of a chapter for SMOULDER. The EP’s two original compositions, “Dream Quest Ends” and “Warrior Witch Of Hel”, was written by drummer Kevin Hester several years ago and accordingly were molded into a “more SMOULDER-esque” sound, complete with more lead guitars and choir-like vocal parts. Both serve as a milestone for SMOULDER — they are the last remaining songs from the band’s demo and “Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring” period.
“I don’t think these songs are what anyone will expect; we zigged instead of zagged,” notes singer Sarah Ann. “On a production front, we dialed it back a bit to make it sound more raw and unusual to match both the MANILLA ROAD track and the fact that a reprint of our demo is on the B-side of the vinyl. As for the A-side, what can we say? It’s unusual and both of the new tracks are slower. They are somewhat more bluesy and psychedelic within the context of power metal or epic doom, and I think that they fit very well alongside ‘Cage of Mirrors’.
“In the title track, we do more experimentation with quiet acoustic parts, dueling vocals and top it off with a hugely epic triumphant end that sounds like a battering ram,” she continues. “The song lyrically revolves around a warrior sorceress who travels to an alien world to battle her titan nemesis in his sky castle, and Adam [Blake, bass] and I sing from the perspective of the titan and the sorceress to drive the epic-ness home. Meanwhile, ‘Warrior Witch of Hel’ starts out on this lurching, dark note with a repeating riff and lower register vocals. Once we get into the segments about the character — who is on a quest to free a castle full of slaves and cast the sorcerer presiding over it to Hel — it becomes much more upbeat and driving.”
The members of SMOULDER had been kicking the idea around to cover a MANILLA ROAD song ever since guitarist Collin Wolf and Hester joined the band. After leader MANILLA ROAD Mark Shelton’s untimely passing in July 2018, SMOULDER decided to move forward with a cover to honor his memory.
“‘Cage Of Mirrors’ is my absolute favorite track by the band and I’ve wanted to cover it for a long time so it was not a hard decision,” says guitarist Shon Vincent. “With its simple yet powerful structure, emotional vocal delivery and epic story-driven occult sword and sorcery lyrics, it was a perfect fit for us thematically. Sarah worked hard to match Mark’s wavering, unusual delivery, along with his growls, screams and laughs.”
The March release of “Dream Quest Ends” will coincide with the band’s appearance at the Up The Hammers and Horns Up festivals in Greece, as well as a spot at the Hell’s Heroes festival in Texas and Headbanger’s Open Air in Germany. After that, SMOULDER is going to give their collective creative batteries some time to recharge.
“We decided that we want to take some time on the next album rather than rush it out,” closes Sarah Ann. “All our favorite bands do things slow and steady, and we want to do the same to maintain quality.”
You can read our review on “Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring”, here.
You can read our interview with SMOULDER, here.