Maeth's Shrouded Mountain, released in 2016, was an excellent addition to the progressive doom milieu. It wove drippy guitars, overladen with distortion and overdrive, amazing flute segments and ambitious track and album structures into one bewildering whole. This is why it is my very distinct pleasure to premiere their next album today. It goes by the name of Whaling Village and is comprised of three incredible tracks which further cement Maeth as one of the more important voices in this mini-scene of progressive doom metal. This release doubles down on their sound, handing us a more refined and yet, somehow heavier and more oppressive, version of the Maeth sound. It is contradiction all but also harmonious and melodic in heart wrenching ways.
Let's get something out of the way first - Sleipnir is an eight-legged horse variously featured in Norse mythology, most prominently in the Poetic/Prose Edda. Skadi, likewise featured in that most seminal of texts, is a jötunn most often associated with the bow and the hunt. If you have no idea what such references are doing on a metal album's cover, please read this post by yours truly. Interestingly enough, The Flight of the Sleipnir have chosen unique and somewhat obscure Norse figures for their name and album title. Even more pleasing is the album itself. Skadi is a powerful exploration of the type of doom which draws its power from quiet, slow passages frequently interspersed amidst the tumultuous summits of its heavier segments. Unlike its fellow releases, however, Skadi manages to keep things fresh for the entirety of its run-time. Meet me below and let's dive into the frozen landscape.