Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Flight of Sleipnir – V

You guys know who I am, right?  Odin, the Allfather, ruler of Norse mythology?  I'm such a badass that Anthony Hopkins plays me in movies.  And Sleipnir?  He's my horse.  My eight-legged horse, so pretty much the fastest thing around and an important part of what goes on in Norseland.  If you're going to name your band after something my horse did, you better come correct.

Thankfully, The Flight of Sleipnir do exactly that.  They play a winning combination of doom with some nice dashes of black metal and folk music thrown in.  This is their fifth album, in case you were wondering what the “V” in the album title is all about.  They hail from Colorado although their music would be right at home in Scandinavia, and Valhalla for that matter.  This is a band that you should check out.

The album opens with “Headwinds”, which starts off with some really nice folky sounding stuff.  But about 3 minutes in, all hell breaks loose and you hear what this band is capable of when they want to drop the doom.  Tight and heavy riffage give you the signal that this is a band that does not mess around.  The vocals throughout the album alternate between cleanly sung parts that almost sound choral or chant-like, as in monks doing their daily devotional, and frost-bite bringing black metal vocals that are every bit as chilling as whatever you can imagine. These variations give some real nuance to the music and they are an important part of what this band does.

There are also some black metal touches at times in the guitar work with some frosty tremolo picking dividing time with megalithic doom riffs.  The doom wins most of the time, and that's what I consider these guys to be, a very competent doom band.  Tracks like “Gullveig” and “Archaic Rites” dial things back a bit and show the folky side of the band and their songwriting. These songs are almost gentle feeling, like a light spring breeze compared to the howling winter vortex that other songs bring.  There is very good interplay, sometimes in the same songs, with light and dark, warmth and cold, throughout this album.  To me the textures of the music, the way the music feels and makes you feel, are more key to this band and album than the individual songs.  This band knows how to conjure a mood.

So yes, these guys would be welcome in the lands of the ice and snow.  Their music does justice to the fine legacy of my Sleipnir.  Long may they live and reign over the fine music they have provided to us all.


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