apostle of solitude | rituals of the oak | the flight of sleipnir | label | buy
The May second release of three from Eyes Like Snow is that rare thing, a three-way split EP, between Americans Apostle of Solitude and The Flight of Sleipnir, who also have a brand new album released on the label at the same time, and Australians Rituals of The Oak. Sometimes with split releases one artist comes off better than the other one, or in this case other two. But here the spoils are shared. Apostle of Solitude and The Flight of Sleipnir both get to contribute two exclusive tracks while Rituals of The Oak add one seventeen-minute epic to the proceedings. Indiana-based Apostle of Solitude kick off the disc short (in the context of this disc) burst of traditional doom clocking in at just under six minutes. It's a typical piece of heavy melancholia which fans of the band will have come to expect, and is delivered in exactly the same exemplorary manner as their last full-length Last Sunrise. Australia's Rituals of The Oak are up next, with a truly breathtaking, deeply involving epic called Hallward, which sees them pull out every trick in the doom book in a wonderfully contructed way allowed vocalist Sabine Hamad-Linfoot drift in and out of the flow, highlighting and accenting the music as necessary. The Flight of Sleipnir make their appearance third with the first of two seven-minute tracks called The Legacy of Iron. Much like their new album Essence of Nine, they spend most of their time in the sombre, traditional doom realm but occasionally throw in some black metal vocals as a change of pace, but here the blackened vocals are rarer, and the tracks are arguably stronger than some of the ones on the album. Apostle of Solitude weigh in for their second offering with a twelve-minute epic which is comfortably the disc's highlight. It touches all of the stylistic points Rituals of The Oak did on their track, but with a little more conviction and a little less dwelling on certain sections. The Flight of Sleipnir's closing effort, Draugr is again another typical piece of them, in exactly the same vein as the new album. This split EP is one of the strongest to emerge for a long time. Every band delivers the goods in spades, and in the case of The Flight of Sleipnir, produces some of their best songs to date.
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