First impressions are deceiving on “Ascension”, a collection of two previously self-released demo EPs from Colorado’s The Flight of Sleipnir. Opening track ‘The Deceiver, The Blind and the Beloved’ seems a straight forward, not very good rock song about Vikings inspiring zero interest and a general “really?” apathy until exactly the 4:30 mark where suddenly some alchemy is performed and it’s impossible not to enjoy what’s happening.
There’s no explanation, because as things progress the album becomes even more confused. There’s no coherency, little in the way of structure, guitar solos are pretty lacklustre and vocals are delivered more as a yelp than a roar, but somehow all these elements combine to create a really fun whole that somehow, in some unexplainable way makes more sense than anything else in the world.
So many questions abound. Why is a band from Colorado singing about Vikings? Why is their basically only one riff in the entire release? Does the guitarist know any other techniques than finger tapping? The more that things progress though, the more all of these questions become entirely redundant and replaced solely with “why is this so damn enjoyable?”
There’s not really anything to hate here. All elements exude charm, whether intentional or not and the combination of doom, sludge, folk and heavy metal somehow works despite all logic suggesting that they shouldn’t.
There’s no way of specifically recommending this, because it defies all sense, all genre barriers and all perceptions about what does and doesn’t work in a metal record. Check this out immediately and you won’t be disappointed by a record that’s highest accolade is the reality that it just works.