By: Alex Phillips
Label: Napalm Records
Available: 28 November
Official Website: http://www.theflightofsleipnir.com/news.html
The Flight of Sleipnir, from Colorado, consists of two permanent members, David Csicsely and Clayton Cushman, who have an obvious love for their craft and a gift for songwriting. I had never heard of them until I received the promo for their fifth album, V. I set the album to play. The first question that came to mind was, is this just another American band attempting to capitalize on Scandinavian lore? Sleipnir is the offspring of Loki and the stallion Svadilfari, an eight-legged steed that bore Odin across seas and skies and to the underworld and back. Well, I reasoned, Napalm Records doesn’t sign just any old band—there must be something special about them.
Indeed. A few songs later, I began to wonder where this band has been hiding the past few years. The music unfolds with a slow, acoustic build up in “Headwinds” that culminates in the doomy, thunderstorm pummeling of “Sidereal Course.” There are echoes of bands like Panopticon, Oranssi Pazuzu, and SubRosa. But how one might classify The Flight of Sleipnir? Their sound says Doom, yes, but not so much as to become funereal. Psychedelic? The tone is too melancholy . . . buuuuut pyschedelic does describe the soaring-trip-through-the-upper-atmosphere feeling the music invokes. “Nothing Stands Obscured” and “Gullveig” carry you aloft on acoustic interludes and clean-sung passages that arrive exactly when needed. And while above the clouds, you can hear touches of folk drifting up around you. “Archaic Rites” features haunting female vocals—exactly whose voice, I very much wanted to know. My best guess is one of the vocalists from SubRosa, but I’m not certain, and I could find no source to confirm it.
It was almost a letdown when the album ended, because I knew I’d have to figure out how to describe what I’d heard without falling back on a pile of adjectival phrases and abstract metaphors about how the music felt. It would be far easier if you check out The Flight of Sleipnir for yourself.