The Flight Of Sleipnir - Essence Of Nine review


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Band: The Flight Of Sleipnir
Album: Essence Of Nine
Release date: May 2011

01. Transcendence
02. Upon This Path We Tread
03. A Tousand 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

Alright all you Odin-loving, Mjolnir necklace-wearing Neopagans out there. This one's for you. Looking for some great metal tunes to which you can dance around bonfires and praise all the Norse gods? Then keep reading. If not, and you think that all this environmentalist "hippie metal" should cease and just needs to get hit in the balls with some Napalm Death, then kindly move on. We tree huggers are doing just fine in Yggdrasil without you.

The Flight Of Sleipnir are an American duo consisting of Clayton Cushman (guitar, vocals, bass, keyboards) and David Csicsely (drums, additional guitars), and 2011's Essence Of Nine is their latest offering. The band's unique style skates a very delicate, though well-maintained line between folk metal, black metal, and stoner metal, assuring that fans of each are certain to find something to enjoy in the music. Think of the blackened folk type of approach taken by Agalloch ("Transcendence, "The Serpent Ring"), coupled with Wolves In The Throne Room during some of their more atmospheric, ambient moments ("As Ashes Rise," "As Cinders Burn"). Then take that, and add in a wonderful blend of clean and extreme vocals reminiscent of Enslaved's recent material, and you've got a good idea of the sound The Flight Of Sleipnir have managed to produce.

Is there more, you ask? Why yes, there is. Because what truly makes Essence Of Nine, if not all of the band's discography shine, making them more than just another blackened folk band, are the stoner elements. A few of the tracks make use of a very groovy, riff-centered guitar tone, and carve out some quite interesting (bluesy!) guitar leads to boot (check out the ones in "Transcendence" and "Nine Worlds"). This technique really helps to add another, somewhat catchier edge to the music, and a band having a hook to its songwriting is never a bad thing.

"Blackened stoner folk metal." I suppose that's what you could call The Flight Of Sleipnir, for all you genre nuts out there that love to get specific about it. The band leans more towards folk metal than anything else, especially with the acoustic guitars and pantheistic lyrics, but suffice it to say that the additional black and stoner elements help to add another, highly distinct dimension to the music that the band wouldn't have if they had stuck purely to folk metal. While some tracks on Essence Of Nine lean more towards one style than the other, they all somehow manage to pack it all together quite well, and with good spacing of composition so that all three are never overwhelming the listener at once. Stoner, folk, and black metal fans should keep an eye fixed on these guys. This album, and indeed their former material as well, shows much potential in their coming development, and is excellent testament to the fact that creativity in American metal is by no means whatsoever dead.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Production: 8


Written on 05.02.2013 by Comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable since 2013.


Comments: 3   Visited by: 47 users
07.02.2013 - 18:08
Seeker of Truth
I thought I would just pass on this one, but you had to mention the "groovy, riff-centered guitar tone" and now I have to dig this album out and give it a listen .

Good job on the review.
Savor what you feel and what you see
Things that may not seem important now
But may be tomorrow

R.I.P. Chuck Schuldiner

Satan was a Backstreet Boy
08.02.2013 - 05:21
Written by K†ulu on 07.02.2013 at 18:08

I thought I would just pass on this one, but you had to mention the "groovy, riff-centered guitar tone" and now I have to dig this album out and give it a listen .

Good job on the review.

Go for it man! Like I said in the review, that's really what sold it for me. Cuz ya know, there are so many black/folk bands around today. Great style, but it's becoming a bit overdone and a tad stale. The stoner metal elements that these guys add to the formula though, really helps inject it with an interesting originality I don't see many other (if any) bands replicating.
This is the water, and this is the well
Drink full and descend
The horse is the white of the eyes, and dark within
08.02.2013 - 12:47
Deus Deceptor
Thanks to this review, i'm noe officialy fan of the flight of sleipnir

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