Author : Laura Cosheril
History and Mythology are huge interests of mine, particularly Norse and Scandinavian history and lore, so naturally my curiosity piqued when I saw THE FLIGHT OF SLEIPNIR (who I had never listened to before) were releasing a new album titled “Skadi”. For those unaware, Sleipnir is Odin’s eight-legged flying steed in Norse mythology and Skadi is the Giant Goddess of Winter in the same mythology. Naturally I’m incredibly excited to put this album on.
The first track “Awakening” is nothing like what I envisioned before going into this album, it’s very dark and doomy. Around the one minute mark, it’s like they decided to stop recording, everything stops for a second or two before picking back up again. Bands do this sometimes to add a bit of variety and anticipation to the track; it did not work in this case and just sounds choppy… Not a great start but I give them the benefit of the doubt. As this track ploughs on, it becomes increasingly more atmospheric, it’s quite relaxing. There are screeching vocals that drift in and out, but to be honest they’re not all that noticeable and seem to blend into the background. The highlight of this track comes at around the six minute mark where some clean vocals kick in, these add depth and emotion to the track which is badly needed.
The following track “Tenebrous Haze” is much the same as its predecessor. Although in this track the screeching vocals stand out a lot more and contribute a lot more to the song than in “Awakening”. At this stage the album is just passing me by (bear in mind over 15 minutes has passed with these two songs alone). I think THE FLIGHT OF SLEIPNIR have fallen prey to being TOO atmospheric and doomy, to the point where at this stage I’d throw on this album if I wanted a bit of background music.
The following track makes me rethink my previous statement however. “Earthen Shroud” is my favourite track on this album and a track I would actually listen to recreationally. This track sounds a lot different musically, the pace is picked up while still keeping the doom and atmospheric elements which are attributed to the band. There is an epic undertone to this track and meets my previous expectations for the album. The guitar is droning yet upbeat, the drums are slow yet complex, the vocals are so varied it would rival the greats; all in all a truly great track.
“Voices” has a funky old age Bard style to it, keeping with the theme of the previous song, it is listenable. Although sadly though halfway through this track and the entirety of the following track “Falcon White” TFOS seem to backtrack and end on the same weak note they started with.
I’ll be honest, there’s nothing “WOW” about this album, apart from “Earthen Shroud” I couldn’t recount one track in a positive way. It’s not for the fact of sub-par musicianship; it’s more the fact that the actual songwriting and production needs the work and unfortunately affects the entire album. A valiant effort from our American warriors, but sadly this is one battle they didn’t win.
2. Tenebrous Haze
3. Earthen Shroud
5. Falcon White
Clayton Cushman – Guitars, Vocals, Bass, Keys
David Csicsely – Drums, Vocals, Guitars
Dave Borrusch – Bass
Justin Siegler – Guitar