Review Summary: All things dark and beautiful.
The Flight of Sleipnir boast one of the most consistent and overlooked discographies in the metal scene. Formed in 2008, they’ve released six full-length LPs – each one garnering a fair amount of fan praise – and although there have been lineup changes with minor stylistic tweaks along the way, they’ve mostly kept their fusion of doom, prog, folk, and black metal intact. Their seventh LP, Eventide
, is a further refinement of that atmosphere: a midnight stroll through a starlit forest that manages to encompass all things dark and beautiful.
is grim more often than it is gorgeous however, with plenty of Agalloch-esque black metal shrieks accompanied by doom chords and the occasional acoustic guitar. The Flight of Sleipnir do an excellent job of pacing the record, swaying between slower meandering moments like ‘Voland’ and urgent, uptempo pieces such as ‘January’ or ‘Servitude’. Throughout this journey, even during its quieter moments, they maintain a crushing edge – always ready to launch into bleak, atmospheric screams or to send another tidal wave of doom chords crashing over us. Eventide
plays a tension-and-release game, using its softer moments to set us up for another big blow.
’s generally menacing atmosphere, it’s the flourishing folk sections that distinguish the album from works by similar artists. The way that ‘January’ stops on a dime and fades into ambient acoustic strums to a serenade of songbirds isn’t something totally novel, but it’s a jarring enough dynamic shift to prevent Eventide
from blurring together. ‘Bathe the Stone in Blood’ has what you might describe as a borderline country opening sequence, which is one of the most interesting junctures on the album simply for how far it deviates from Eventide
’s core sound. ‘Harvest’ concocts a depressing acoustic atmosphere reminiscent of Opeth’s Damnation
or, more recently, Katatonia’s City Burials
. Collectively, these moments give Eventide
its rich, Earthly-bound tones and the sort of thoughtful depth that makes the album feel more like a moonlit night as opposed to stark, uniform blackness.
The Flight of Sleipnir have crafted an extremely well-rounded metal album with Eventide
. They incorporate a wide variety of genres, both internal to metal’s umbrella (doom/black metal/prog) as well as from other genres entirely. The progressions are intricate, but not so complex that the songs lose their accessibility. The band also balances heaviness and pure melody with a deft hand, allowing chaos and beauty to coexist harmoniously. The Flight of Sleipnir set out to explore concepts like dreams and nighttime this time around, and they succeed in just about every conceivable way. Whether it’s an alluring, tranquil dream or an utter nightmare depends on which section of the album you’re listening to – but you can sure bet that you’ll experience both on Eventide