Esoteric Tape: Smoulder – Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring 8

  • The magic of this album is this dazzling album art which is both beautiful as an artwork and completely suitable to the sound. This piece is by Michael Whelan, an incredibly talented fantasy artist. Definitely check out his gallery. I don’t think this album would be the same with a lesser cover.

    Times Of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring is an album title based on literature which immediately gets bullshit points from me. There’s also good album art and a solid epic doom sound. This is a no brainer as far as releases go this year but it also feels a bit too safe musically. For this reason I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets snubbed by a lot of end of year releases. It has a solid premise and presentation but it doesn’t bring a lot of new, given it’s a debut LP I look forward to seeing how they elevate from here. As far as female vocals go there’s been some really doozies in recent times. Witch Ritual (9/10) and Hela (9.2/10) are two great examples. With that said the instrumentation is undeniably faithful to the genre and still stimulating for the most part, there’s just not a lot to say for it. The highlight for me is the bass which on some tracks takes the lead well.

The product itself is so fucking pretty on a physical level that I’d consider the tape or vinyl an absolute must have. I have quite a few tapes now and while this one isn’t my favorite musically it is certainly up there in terms of cassette worship. I got it from Hells Headbangers who I’ve gotten a few tapes from now and they always arrive in Australia very quickly and reasonably priced.

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