The Flight of Sleipnir - Essence of Nine
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The first in a trio of fine May 2011 releases from Eyes Like Snow is The Flight of Sleipnir's follow-up to last year's sophomore album Lore, which also saw a vinyl release in February of this year on Eyes Like Snow. The Flight of Sleipnir, who hail from Colorado and comprise Acheronian Dirge pair David Csicely and Clayton Cushman, have always favoured mixing elements of their black metal past into an otherwise melancholic doom sound, earning the slightly silly label "viking doom metal", and this has varying degrees of success. They are at their best, surprisingly, when they aren't being heavy. Wonderfully crafted acoustic/clean passages, which are no less miserable than the rest of their music, are undoubted highlights of this reasonably brief effort (The Seer In White, for instance), but equally their traditional doom moments are also top drawer. Where they falter a little is unnecessary use of jarring black metal vocals which don't offer the change of mood or pace the use of mixing in a different genre or style should. These are almost always fleeting moments, however, and the one time it works is closing track The Serpent Ring, which resides in echoing, quiet doom for the verses, and explodes into black choruses brilliantly. There are occasional hints of post-metal here as well in the longer instrumental passages, but this is perfectly suited for anyone who loves doom metal with a hint of black. A couple of listens presents a very absorbing experience, especially with that closer, which heavies up considerably at the end.
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