Smoulder "The Sword Woman"

Smoulder "The Sword Woman"
Smoulder are a coalition of Canadian and American musicians, made possible of course through the use of technology. Their approach to music, however, is decidedly retro, referencing the epic doom sounds of Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus and Reverend Bizarre. You can hear their take on the sound via debut recording "The Sword Woman," streaming here ahead of its April 20 release via Hoove Child Records.

The song starts off a slow burn (as much great doom metal does), with ominous riffing before a slightly more hopeful lead comes atop and push it toward the start of Sarah Ann's vocals. Operatic without sounding too much like, you know, old-time opera, they act as the perfect complement for the grand musical expressions. The chorus ends with a particularly biting snarl, which is all too appropriate given the lyrical inspiration.

"'The Sword Woman' is an ode is an ode to Robert E. Howard's red haired heroine Dark Agnes de Chastillon," explains vocalist and lyricist Sarah Ann. "She's tough as hell, and after being forced into an arranged marriage she slits her fiancées throat and runs away. She is eventually trained as a sword woman of considerable skill. Despite Howard only writing three stories about her (the third which was incomplete) before his death, Dark Agnes is a huge inspiration on the lyrical focus of the band." 

Though not necessarily the woman on the art, the cassette, which shares the name with this song, features a similarly fierce heroine and two other songs: an original called "Voyage of the Sunchaser" and a "lovingly amended cover of Colombian speed metal band Nightmare's 'The King Is Gone,'" here changed to "The Queen Is Gone."

You can pre-order the release here, with a special edition coming with a hand-screened gold patch and pin.