The Flight Of Sleipnir: Essence of nine
14/11/11 || gk
The Flight Of Sleipnir is an American 2 man band formed in 2008 and the duo have been quite prolific with “Essence of Nine” being the band’s third full length album. The band came together with the expressed purpose of exploring Norse mythology through their music which is a blend of doom, classic heavy metal and prog rock.
“Essence of Nine” is an album of many moods shifting through heavy metal, doom, acoustic interludes, heavier and more extreme sounds and soaring lead guitar sections. The tempo is generally slow to mid paced and the vocals alternate between a harsh blackish rasp and almost clean melodic vocals that bring Mikael Åkerfeldt to mind. Where the band succeed is in writing songs with enough interesting parts and then weaving them together into a seamless whole. Case in point is “Upon This Path We Tread” which starts off slow and morose with a singular guitar riff being the motif that holds the song together before alternating between a heavy section and acoustic, almost folk like guitars. “A Thousand Stones” is a short song that again alternates effortlessly between heavy, morose riffing and acoustic melodies while album highlight “Nine Worlds” starts in an introspective and almost dreamlike fashion with acoustic guitars and clean soft singing before becoming progressively heavier and building up into a solid stoner doom song with memorable riffs and a superb display on drums and bass as it’s the rhythm which takes the song forward and gives it momentum. “The Seer in White” continues to show off the band’s ability to build atmosphere using acoustic melodies and matching them with heavier sections of music. “The Serpent Ring” closes out the album with a distinct doom metal flavor and the verse section with layered clean vocals sitting next to a harsh rasp as the band once again succeed in building a morose and lonely atmosphere.
David Csicsely on drums, guitars and vocals and Clayton Cushman on guitars, vocals, keyboards and bass are both fine musicians who can write good songs and The Flight Of Sleipnir has produced a solid album with “Essence of Nine.” The songs are varied and go from soft and mellow to harsh and heavy often in the same verse and while the band doesn’t really write hooks and catchy choruses, what they do is come up with a distinct melancholic and reflective atmosphere with their use of acoustic melodies juxtaposed with harsh and heavy passages. There’s also a distinct European vibe to these songs and the closest comparison I can think of is to German duo Scythe although The Flight Of Sleipnir is somewhat rougher around the edges.
The one downside for me about “Essence of Nine” is the production. It’s not bad but it often lacks the power and punch to really elevate the music to deserved levels. The sound is almost lo-fi and rough when compared to some bands today. The production combined with the lack of easily identifiable hooks means that the music on offer is not instantly appealing but the more you listen to it the more these songs will seep into your head.
The Flight Of Sleipnir is a quality band with some great songs and “Essence of Nine” is an album well worth your time. The music here deserves to be heard and I am looking forward to more from this band.
- Released: 2011
- Label: Eyes Like Snow
- Website: The Flight Of Sleipnir MySpace
- David Csicsely: vocals, drums, guitars
- Clayton Cushman: guitars, vocals, bass, keyboards
- 01. Transcendence
- 02. Upon This Path We Tread
- 03. A Thousand Stones
- 04. As The Ashes Rise (The Embrace of Dusk)
- 05. Nine Worlds
- 06. The Seer In White
- 07. As Cinders Burn (The Wake of Dawn)
- 08. The Serpent Ring