Smoulder’s power has only grown since the release of The Sword Woman, their demo tape from 2018. After their three track debut took the underground by surprise and by storm, the Toronto-based epic fantasy-themed/epic riff-wielding quintet made better than good on that opening demonstration with Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring, easily one of the most vital new records that come out last year. Apparently, Smoulder’s skullgoblet runneth over, for here they come with another three hefty tracks of laid-low-but-borne-at-shoulder-height, downright bluesy doom. Mark our words, the chorus of this new Smoulder track will smash open your heart like the crusty geode it’s become.
“This EP marks the literal and metaphorical end of this first chapter of our band,” writes Smoulder’s vocalist, Sarah Ann. “Everything has happened so fast since we asked Kevin, Collin and Adam to join the band that we haven’t even been able to appreciate it all. But back to the matter at hand: ‘Warrior Witch of Hel’ is a doomy, bluesy track with a huge repeating chorus. It’s an unusually narrative track for us (similar to ‘Shadowy Sisterhood’), and it focuses on the book of the same name about the warrior Bloodsong and her quest to storm the evil sorcerer Nidhung’s castle. The entire song builds towards the huge battle, where Bloodsong sends the maggot-dragon to the abyss with the aid of the Godess Hel.”