Smoulder Violent Creed Of Vengeance
Violent Creed of Vengeance espouses an all killer, no filler ethos. The band followed the roadmap of Omen, Blind Guardian, Chastain, Rainbow and Tales of Medusa -- acts renowned for writing albums with front-to-end bangers. Smoulder applied this approach, hauling out seven songs that capably merge the fist-bumping bangers of Hester and the arcane and obscure numbers from Vincent. The songs are more nuanced but still enmeshed in Smoulder's now-patented blend of speed, power and doom metal, capped off by Sarah Ann's captivating vocals. The legendary Michael Whelan (Cirith Ungol, Obituary, Sepultura) once again handled the cover art. Whelen's artwork helped shape the album's theme of vengeance, particularly Sarah Ann's very pointed lyrics about taking revenge on misogynists and rapists, their enablers and the indifference of those who excuse such behavior. The red tones of Whelan's painting have a tremendous impact since red is historically associated with strong feelings: anger, violence, lust, sex, love, courage, vigor, danger, power and passion. There is also an infusion of sword, sorcery literature and films that inspired Times of Obscene Evil, including a very special guest appearance from The Eternal Champion author, Michael Moorcock. Whatever circuitous route Smoulder took to write and record Violent Creed of Vengeance, there is little dispute that the album is the next logical progression after Times of Obscene Evil. And, according to Sarah Ann, the results speak for themselves. I used to loathe when bands used the word 'mature,' she says. The same goes for when bands say 'This is our best album,' but.... this album is mature and better than the debut.