This review (in its unadulterated form) was originally published in December of 2018 but, as this Friday sees the re-release of an expanded version under Bonita Steel Records and Diabolic Might Records, we thought it would be appropriate to break out this ol' writeup. The following is an edited and updated version. - Ed.
Well, this is refreshing. Typically, when promo proclaims that a band represents a "bold new take" on a traditional, well-trod style, you can expect the same: yet another forgettable "revitalization" of a sound and aesthetic that has been done to death, reanimated, and then slaughtered by copycats once more. In the case of Tzimani, the status quo is effectively put in its place. Despite sparking synapses associated with a variety of high-octane hard rock and metal birthed in the days of yore, this self titled debut EP genuinely feels fresh-faced. Pull on your leather, put the pedal to the metal, and smell the gasoline: Tzimani begins with menacing distortion, a rumbling engine of Mad Max-ian proportion. This EP, previously reviewed by yours truly here, had been bolstered for a vinyl release by a new track, a couple o' covers, and some demos.
Written by: Scorpi
This album was labelled as “Bluesy Doom” in the Sleeping Village super database of new music. And it tickled the fibers of my curiosity. How would such an album present itself in the light of day?
Dream Quest Ends is the second EP from Smoulder, a quintet from Canada who have been writing music together since 2013.
Straight off the bat I should mention there are only two “new” songs from Smoulder on this EP. The other four tracks feature three demo versions of previously released songs and a cover of Manilla Road’s “Cage of Mirrors” which we will get to in due course. However, to someone such as I, all of the goods on this EP are new.
I just took a trip down the winding stairs of our scriptorium and braved the wretch’d outdoors. The reason for my madness? A brief visit to the Village apothecary, where I decidedly did not panic-buy their entire stock. It was a remarkably brief expedition; hardly worth putting on a jacket. But for those few moments outside my dusty sanctuary, the palpable tension--and I don’t mean to alarm you here--was quite high. Rightfully so.
Needless to say, I’m happy to be cloistered back at my desk with my speakers roaring loud ‘n’ proud. Monster Skull have wormed their way back into rotation for what seems the hundredth time, and now seems a prime time to chat about why I like their latest EP--the ominously entitled Visions of the Horrible and Strange--so damn much. If you too are in need of some upbeat jubilance in these troubled times, this Washingtonian duo has you covered.
Blood Red Victory is--praise the gods of battle above--the textbook definition of a grower. At initial listen, IRONFLAME seemed banal at best, a deliberate and unassuming second fiddle to literally any of Iron Maiden's more, well, banal moments. IRONFLAME, my early notes indicate, is to Snoke as Bruce Dickinson is to Palpatine--a fallible facsimile.
But I couldn't have been more wrong. While Blood Red Victory isn't a showstopping album by any means, it is, in fact, a delightfully astute and solid recreation of the trad metal sound. Despite listening a great many times over the past few weeks, I'm inclined to throw it on one more time. Or maybe two more times. Let’s just see where the day takes us, shall we?
Providing thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy, and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a groggy-eyed, highfalutin peasantry.