Friday, August 23, 2013

The Flight Of Sleipnir - Saga

The Flight Of Sleipnir are still out near the Rockies releasing sublime stoner folkdoom. Essence Of Nine and Lore were both great releases that merged catchy, dense riffing, folk beauty, and a Scandinavian aesthetic to create fun and immersive listens. Saga is a direct continuation of their now well-established sound.

One thing that I definitely respect about this duo is their use of keyboards. They're not explosive, over the top, or anything like that. They usually play a single chord buried in the mix before fading and repeating in drone fashion (see: "Heavy Rest The Chains Of The Damned"). It's subtle enough to keep them from being intrusive and it adds another layer of texture to The Flight Of Sleipnir's music. Like the keyboards though, the vocals are low in the mix as well and personally I think it works quite well. Clean vocals are quiet yet coherent enough to add poetic beauty, and the throaty blackened rasping echoes like calls to mother nature in a vast fjord.

Saga fits pretty well in The Flight Of Sleipnir's. Unlike some bands who try to repetitively release the same album however, these guys' add a bit of unique flavor. Lore felt a little unpolished with its denser mix, and Essence Of Nine took that sound and added more complex riffs and rhythms as well as more acoustic passages. Saga feels more subdued than both of them, at least in terms of their mainstay in the fuzzy guitar tone. David Csicsely's snare still sounds as great as ever. "Harrowing Desperation" is a good example of that and the mellowed guitar-plus-effects add a lot to the track. I always liked the long, drone-like outro lead of "Reverence" as well. Not that they haven't had these qualities on their previous releases, but it took me until now to really put my finger on them.

The Flight Of Sleipnir's albums are something you have to listen to in their entirety to appreciate despite having a few standout, hook-based tracks on each (looking at you, "Of Words and Ravens"). They're solid active listening experiences and great passive listening ones. If the interlacing of acoustic guitars with electrified doom and a light folk atmosphere appeals to you, then there's no doubt that you'll enjoy all of their releases. Saga is no different, and I guess that's why I'm having trouble writing about it since I've covered their other output already - but that's definitely not a bad thing.

7.75 out of 10

1. Prologue
2. Reaffirmation
3. Reverence
4. Harrowing Desperation
5. Heavy Rest The Chains Of The Damned
6. Judgment
7. Dmise Carries With It a Song
8. The Mountain
9. Hour Of Cessation
!0. Remission
11. Beneath Red Skies
12. Epilogue


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