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The Flight of Sleipnir - Skadi Award winner

The Flight of Sleipnir
Skadi
by Erika Kuenstler at 17 May 2017, 1:27 PM

Having been around for a decade, 2017 sees Colarado-based THE FLIGHT OF SLEIPNIR back with their sixth full-length album “Skadi”. THE FLIGHT OF SLEIPNIR have always been notoriously difficult to clump under one particular genre, combining everything from Black Metal to Doom, Prog, and even Folk. This is their first release following the addition of Dave and Justin to the ranks, leaving many wondering how this would affect the sound of the band. Long story short, THE FLIGHT OF SLEIPNIR are just as spellbinding as before, with “Skadi” providing a good follow-up to 2014's “V.” whilst avoiding being a mere rehash.

With just five songs spanning three quarters of an hour, “Skadi” is a slow-paced album that drags you in like an all-consuming morass, featuring mesmerising ebbs and flows in the overall atmosphere. Starting off with “Awaken”, ethereal melodies sway through section of minimalistic drone, whilst thinly rasped vocals add a agonised feel that provide a poignant counter to the unhurried tranquillity of the dreamlike choral parts. Following on from this is the drudgy-paced “Tenebrous Haze”, in which THE FLIGHT OF SLEIPNIR really allow their Stoner/Doom influences to fully shine through. This stands in sharp contrast to the Folkier feel found at the pinnacle of the album in “Earthen Shroud”. Here, ephemeral acoustic sections intertwine with keyboard melodies and clean vocals to weave a dreamlike tapestry of sound. However, a hint of melancholy added to the hazy, shimmery feel keeps the song from straying too far stylistically from the rest of “Skadi”. This leads to the penultimate song, “Voices” (which is ironically an instrumental song, despite its name), in which a searingly beautiful and very fragile melody comes floating in on celestial wings, gradually melding in a mournful undertow to the mix. Ending off the album is “Falcon White”, a diverse piece that really takes the listener on a journey through valleys of doomy sludge, to peaks of intricate interplays of instrumentation to sublime minimalism. I can only recommend listening to this song with your headphones on to really get the most out of the layering of the tracks.

The production is perhaps less sharp than on their previous releases, giving the music a softer, glowing, and more organic sound. This does sacrifice the heaviness to some degree, although this can make the music more captivating. Here, “Skadi” avoids the risk of fading into the background thanks to all the different facets which constantly keep coming to the fore, keeping the album fresh and unique throughout. Overall, “Skadi” is a very varied album, but may take a few listens to really get the full measure of.

Originality: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 7
Songwriting: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Awaken
2. Tenebrous Haze
3. Earthen Shroud
4. Voices
5. Falcon White
Lineup:
David Csicsely - Drums, Vocals, Guitars
Clayton Cushman - Guitars, Vocals, Bass, Keyboards
Dave Borrusch - Bass
Justin Siegler - Guitars
Record Label: Eisenwald Tonschmiede
     


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