Flight of Sleipnir – Skadi

Here’s another example of a black metal(ish) masterpiece that operates totally in it’s own soundworld. I wanted to post this one right after Black Anvil because I think these two albums really showcase how brilliant black metal can be with very different examples.

Flight Of Sleipnir plays a hybrid of black metal and stoner metal that doesn’t sound strangely juxtaposed or awkward. It sounds natural and totally ungimmicky. The music compositionally leans in the stoner metal direction with emphasis on simple riffs with lots of repetition but has many aesthetic elements from black metal like the screamed vocals and the buzzsaw guitars. There’s also elements of 70s prog and psychedlic rock on here as well. I would also check out their cover of Pink Floyd‘s “Echoes”.

This is not an incredibly dense band. What I love about these songs is that they use simple music to convey complex emotions. They need not use parlor tricks to make you feel deeply. That’s one reason why this album may be my album of the month and a contender for album of the year. It’s full of beautiful music that takes you to a different realm.

Take the first track for instance where just a few riffs get repeated and transported into different guitar tones with various drum set supports until finally, the music comes to a breath-taking halt and we hear two otherworldly voices in harmony (in fact, they sort of remind me of Fleet Foxes, ON A METAL RECORD!!!) lull the listener into comfort and warmth. Then, as the tension peaks, the riff comes back. While the guitars are powerful here, the real star is drummer, David Csicsely, whose amazing fills completely fulfill what all that tension built us up for. Every track maintains it’s own identity and never leaves you wanting to skip any of it.

This music is beautiful, sparingly aggressive, always emotionally powerful, full of variety, and mesmerizing in it’s simple, yet effective approach. I highly recommend it.





Carbon Colossal – The Disassembly of Earth

Boy, I really spoke too soon when I said I don’t listen to too much death metal.

Carbon Colossal is a California based extreme metal project. The reason I leave the genre as vague as “extreme metal” is because you really get a little bit of everything with this band. There’s certainly a technical death metal aspect to them. This short EP has plenty of machine gun riffing that will make your head spin but they’re not so much the typical Necrophagist or Suffocation clone. They’re more in the line of Gorguts or even Deathspell Omega. The band describes themselves as a “project of passion and honesty” and I think that is an accurate description. Beyond the death metal, there’s also a good amount of black metal and doom metal moments, which I think is what adds the emotion to this EP.

The opening track, “Ignition”, kicks things off with a foreboding blackened-doom chug fest that transitions into what could easily be a 1349 track but then concludes with a sludgy, grimy coda. “Ascension” achieves what I like to call the “locust effect” where there’s just so many layers of dense, distorted, and dissonant guitars that you brain just hears one swarm of sounds not unlike approaching insects. There’s an interesting moment on this track where the fury stops and there’s a very short clean guitar interlude. It’s almost as if this horrifying monster takes a breath to gather itself before you continuing the nightmare. You think you’re off the hook for a minute, but nope.

The last track “Culmination” has a slow, doomy build before rapidly shifting tones into a the most furious moment on the EP. The chaos finally focuses into a great death metal riff at around the 4 min mark and the song starts spiraling into an emotional finale. The vocalist shows off his most impressive screams at this moment as the music pounds forward. Finally, the clean guitars come back to trick you into tranquility but, of course, the monster awakens and we get one last tornado-ass, blast-beat section.

This album is a promising debut and I can’t wait to see what a full length will be like.

PS: The album cover is sick too.