Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Flight Of Sleipnir - Essence Of Nine

More unfinished reviews from earlier this year coming right up!

The Flight Of Sleipnir's Essence Of Nine was amongst my favorite albums of 2011 and undoubtedly the best in their discography so far. Like Lore, this album contains all their hallmark sounds: fuzzed-out doom riffing, folk interludes and acoustic guitar accompaniment, harsh and clean vocals, and a stark Scandinavian atmosphere. 

Unlike Lore however, is a feeling of energy that pervades the entirety of Essence Of Nine. The album is still whimsical and dreamlike, but the more aggressive tracks like opener "Transcendence" and post-intro "Nine Worlds" are much more intense than most of the material on Lore. This works to The Flight Of Sleipnir's advantage as they carefully balance this out with dense, acoustically dominated tracks like "A Thousand Stones" and "As Cinders Burn (The Wake Of Dawn)." I'm entirely fine with the trade off and it gives the album more of an active listening appeal.

The mixing is of note in that the vocals, like they were on Lore, are mixed low and the fuzzy riffing rules over the rest of the instrumentation. David Csicsely's Snare still sounds nice and loud yet his whole kit sounds organic and fitting for The Flight Of Sleipnir's material. One thing that I did notice was the much louder bass tone. It rumbles and rattles beneath all the fuzz to give a stark low-end to each of the more, shall I say aggressive, tracks.

The folk atmosphere is strongest on here with the acoustics being played up, and as a whole the album feels more coherent than Lore for that reason. "The Serpent Ring" closes Essence Of Nine out nicely. If you haven't heard these guys yet you really should get around to it.

8.5 out of 10

1. Transcendence
2. Upon This Path We Tread
3. A Thousand Stones
4. As Ashes Rise (The Embrace Of Dusk)
5. Nine Worlds
6. The Seer In White
7. As Cinders Burn (The Wake Of Dawn)
8. The Serpent Ring


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