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The Flight Of Sleipnir - "V" (CD)

The Flight Of Sleipnir - "V" CD cover image

"V" track listing:

1. Headwinds (7:55)
2. Sidereal Course (8:11)
3. The Casting (6:45)
4. Nothing Stands Obscured (6:54)
5. Gullveig (8:48)
6. Archaic Rites (9:07)
7. Beacon in Black Horizon (11:26)

Reviewed by on January 6, 2015

"With a wide range of sounds and loads of atmosphere, “V” is an album to get lost in repeatedly."

Having previously released several albums since its inception, “V” sees to stoner doom duo The Flight Of Sleipnir's major label debut, and it's a well-deserved accomplishment. With long, meandering tracks that freely pull from across genre lines, “V” calls equally to fans of fuzzy doom as to fans of psychedelic prog metal. The Flight Of Sleipnir is all about balancing the scales, offering up an album that's the sonic equivalent of calm, tranquil seas disturbed by sudden squalls that rain down psychedelic drugs and echo ethereal siren songs from far-off mermaids.

With tracks ranging from 7 to 11 minutes, there's a whole lot to digest during the voyage between opening track “Headwinds” and finally arriving at closer “Beacon In Black Horizon.” Switching back and forth between two different styles on nearly every song, the album laces psychedelic tinges into drawn-out stoner doom metal, then shifts into atmospheric and acoustic segments. As another layer of duality, there's both harsh and abrasive screams and clean vocals. In many ways “V” brings to mind the genre-bending doom of Batillus, but with a lot more melody and experimentation.

Dream-like and hazy guitar segments pop in and out of the music, infecting the opening of “Gullveig” and occurring throughout “Sidereal Course.” Third track “The Casting” drops the harsh vocals a little over a minute in and lands in an acoustic strumming segment that showcases a fantastic grasp of atmosphere. A few of the tracks throw in additional elements for an odd Western vibe, such as spurs, drum beats, and what almost sounds like a didgeridoo, all resulting in a unique tone and mood. Rounding out the genre-bending are the presence of female vocals on “Archaic Rites” for an ethereal touch to an already atmospheric release.

Despite the long run times, for the most part these tracks don't ever get boring because The Flight Of Sleipnir keep things varied and constantly moving – a definite plus for those metal heads who don't normally move at stoner doom's slow pace. With a wide range of sounds and loads of atmosphere, “V” is an album to get lost in repeatedly.

Highs: Atmosphere blended with heaviness for an album that's equally appealing to fans of harsh or soft.

Lows: The long song lengths and odd atmopsheres take patience, so there's not always payoff if you just want something heavy or brutal.

Bottom line: Stoner doom meets acoustic atmosphere for a varied release that's easy to get lost in.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)