Shadow Woods Metal Fest Set for Sept. 25-27

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 14th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

Acts are traveling from as far as Colorado to play, but even more than the geographic pull, the stylistic breadth of the inaugural Shadow Woods Metal Fest and the concept of the event are what really stun. Set to take place Sept. 25, 26 and 26 in White Hall, Maryland, the festival brings together bands from black metal, various incarnations of dark folk, psychedelia and doom for a three-day camp-out that’s as much an experiment in form as in style. Midnight headline — and if the thought of watching Midnight in the woods doesn’t appeal to you, you’ve probably never heard the band — and the likes of Iron Man, Heavy Temple, The Flight of Sleipnir, Occultation, Hercyn and Hivelords will play, among many others, on two stages that come complemented by workshops of various kinds, food and even yoga sessions.

Tickets are only being sold in advance, and if the thought of doing ritual black metal yoga in the forest isn’t enough for you, the whole thing is BYOB, so you can basically roll up with a cooler in your trunk and fantasize about an underground metal utopia where everything’s off the grid and everyone who sucks lives somewhere else. There are only 350 spots available, and I have no idea how many are left.

There is a lot of information below. If you take away anything from this, though, take away how fucking impressive I think the scope of this whole thing is and how deeply I hope they pull it off with no snags and it becomes an annual event. Also take away the ticket link, or, you know, click it.

Dig it:

shadow woods metal fest

SHADOW WOODS METAL FEST: Inaugural East Coast US Open Air/Camping Metal Fest

In just two weeks, the inaugural installation of SHADOW WOODS METAL FEST — the new mid-Atlantic, open-air, camping-based metal fest — kicks off, the gathering running from September 25th – 27th, 2015, in White Hall, Maryland, about thirty minutes north of Baltimore.

At the debut SHADOW WOODS METAL FEST, thirty-six bands will perform over Friday and Saturday, with lead performances from Midnight, Falls of Rauros, Occultation, Velnias, Iron Man, The Flight of Sleipnir, Dweller In The Valley, Dreadlords, Stone Breath, and many more. SHADOW WOODS METAL FEST will also be the first live performance for the surviving members of Wormreich since their tragic vehicle crash in April. The gathering showcases underground black, doom, death, and noise and experimental metal bands on three alternating stages all day Friday and Saturday. Camping and workshops on topics such as runes, guitar maintenance, yoga and more will be offered and are included in the ticket price. Artists and record labels will be vending alongside several onsite food stands.

Ticket purchasers will be given the exact street address. There will be ZERO ticket sales at the gate for SHADOW WOODS METAL FEST — advance presales to those 21 years of age and older is the only way into the fest, which is also BYOB. Tickets go off sale at 9 am on Friday, September 25th, the official time the gates open. There are only 350 tickets in total to be sold, and three-quarters have already been snapped up. For complete details and links to tickets and the fest merch store with exclusive art prints and t-shirt designs, go to

The bands chosen to perform SHADOW WOODS METAL FEST reflect the diversity of the underground music scene in the mid-Atlantic region plus a few from across the country. Official sponsors for the fest include Grimoire Records and

SHADOW WOODS METAL FEST is a production of of Baltimore, with promotional support from Lokvlt Productions in Philadelphia, WinterForge Promotions in Pittsburgh, Leftover Pizza Productions in Frederick, Maryland and Slimehole/Strange Matter in Richmond, Virginia.

SHADOW WOODS METAL FEST 2015 Alphabetical Lineup:

Anicon (New York, NY)
–black metal

Ashagal (New Hope, PA)
–Ritual folk

Black Table (NJ/NY)
–Experimental metal

Bridesmaid (Columbus, OH)
–Instrumental Doom-Sludge

Cladonia Rangiferina (MD, VA)
— ritual black metal, doom, acid rock

Dendritic Arbor (Pittsburgh, PA)
–metal; Grimoire Records

Destroying Angel (Philadelphia, PA)-
–Folk music for exorcisms

Dreadlords (Philadelphia, PA)
–Ritual black metal blues; Not Just Religious Music

Dweller in the Valley (Frederick, MD)
–Black, death, doom; Grimoire Records

Existentium (Baltimore, MD)
–melodic technical death metal

Falls of Rauros (Portland, ME)
–folk/atmospheric black metal; Bindrune Recordings

Fin (Chicago, IL)
–black metal; Behold Barbarity

Heavy Temple (Philadelphia, PA)
–psychedelic doom; Vàn Records

Hercyn (Jersey City, NJ)
–atmospheric black metal/post-rock

Hivelords (Philadephia, PA)
— experimental psychedelic black doom; Anthropic Records

Immortal Bird (Chicago, IL)
–black/death metal; Broken Limbs, Manatee Rampage

Iron Man (MD)
–doom metal/heavy rock; Rise Above Records

Midnight (Cleveland, Ohio)
–Black heavy metal; Hells Headbangers Records

Occultation (New York, NY)
–doom metal; Profound Lore Records

Oneirogen (New York, NY)
— dark, doom, drone; Denovali, Shinkoyo

Psalm Zero (New York, NY)
–experimental black doom; Profound Lore Records

Sangharsha (New York, NY)
–blackened hardcore; Alerta Antifascista Records

Sentience (Woodland Park, NJ)
–death metal

Slagstorm (Hagerstown, MD)
–prehistoric doom thrash

Snakefeast (Baltimore, MD)
–jazz metal sludge; Grimoire Records

Stone Breath (Red Lion, PA)
–experimental folk; Hand/Eye Records

The Day of the Beast (Virginia Beach, VA)
–blackened death metal

The Expanding Man (Baltimore, MD)
–solo improvisational electronic soundscapes

The Flight of Sleipnir (Denver, CO)
–black metal; Napalm Records

The Osedax (Leesburg, Va)
–black doom; Dullest Records

The Owls Are Not What They Seem (York, PA)
–experimental ritual soundscapes; Eleventh Key

Unsacred (Richmond, VA)
–savage black metal; Forcefield

Velnias (Denver, CO)
–blackened folk/doom metal; Eisenwald

Wormreich (Huntsville, AL & Nashville, TN)
–black metal; Moribund Records

Wrath of Typhon (York, PA)
–heavy metal; Eleventh KEY

ZUD (Portland, ME)
–bluesy outlaw black metal

Heavy Temple, Live in Hagerstown, MD, March 15, 2015

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The Flight of Sleipnir Stream V. in Full

Posted in audiObelisk on November 28th, 2014 by JJ Koczan


However European (much of) their influential base might be, The Flight of Sleipnir‘s will to bend genre and combine different sounds marks them out as a distinctly American band. The two-piece of David Csicsely (drums, vocals, guitar) and Clayton Cushman (vocals, guitar, bass, keys) hail from a town called Arvada, Colorado, less than 10 miles outside the capitol of Denver, but nestled enough into the sharp-tipped Rocky Mountains that their cascading, blackened fuzz could feasibly be born of its landscape. The duo have maintained an exploratory feel throughout their time together, and their fifth and latest outing, V., continues that run. Their first for Napalm Records after two full-lengths — 2013’s Saga and 2011’s Essence of Nine (review here) — on Eyes Like Snow, it’s as mature and steady in its composition as one might expect, but maintains a fierce creative drive as well, its seven tracks/59 minutes pushing forward in aesthetic and atmosphere.

With their commitment to psychedelia and black metal, it’s tempting to think of The Flight of Sleipnir as the stylistic movement that should’ve happened and never did with Nachtmystium, but the truth is Csicsely and Cushman traffic in more complex fare. Extended cuts like “Sidereal Course” and “Gullveig” have their blackened aspects — I’d still call The Flight of Sleipnir a black metal band before anything else — but the flight of sleipnir vtheir forays into psychedelia also bring an awareness of doom, of heavy rock tendencies toward repetition, and give a post-metal feel to some of the shifts between ambient and dense sections. In addition, the balance struck between screams and clean singing from one track to the next, as on opener “Headwinds” and “Sidereal Course,” only furthers the complexity of V., since where a lot of modern metal has fallen into the formula of screamy verse/clean chorus, The Flight of Sleipnir seem more interested in what best suits the mood of the song at that time. To call the record immersive would be underselling it. The forest-style screams of “The Casting” and the lumbering, doom-laden centerpiece “Nothing Stands Obscured” arrive fairly deep in the mix, and the overarching theme throughout is a three-dimensional tonality in the guitar and bass that, in headphones, takes the rawness of lo-fi black metal and gives it a surprisingly rich incarnation, so that the march at the end of “Nothing Stands Obscured” is as lush as it is searing.

This multifaceted, impeccably layered approach comes to a head with “Gullveig,” on which a light wah lead tops some foreboding underpinnings and becomes a theme played off of for full-toned riffs and screams, paced perfectly for V.‘s most satisfying nod. Cushman and Csicsely build up past the halfway point and then work in acoustics to begin an instrumental exploration that will consume the rest of the runtime, clean singing and screams interweaving for an apex effect that leads fluidly into the closing duo of “Archaic Rites” (9:07) and “Beacon in Black Horizon” (11:26), both of which continue to further the album’s atmospheric impact, the former through shifting the form of “Gullveig” to an even more serene, natural spirit, and the latter stripping back down early to blacksludge roll-riffing before escaping into trippy effects and never seeming to settle as compounds payoff with payoff to cap V. with an appropriately noisy stomp, the undercurrent of low end carrying them smoothly through quick-breath breaks and fuller onslaught to the drone, chanting and long silence that follows the closer’s finish, their sonic adventurousness never having relented once along the way.

V. came out earlier this week through Napalm Records and today I have the pleasure of streaming the album in its entirety. Please check it out on the player below, and enjoy:

The Flight of Sleipnir on Thee Facebooks

The Flight of Sleipnir on Bandcamp

The Flight of Sleipnir at Napalm Records

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The Flight of Sleipnir’s V Available to Preorder

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 30th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

the flight of sleipnir

Following up 2013’s Saga, Colorado duo The Flight of Sleipnir will release V — their aptly-titled fifth album — this November as their debut on Napalm Records. The Eyes Like Snow veterans cut a wide sonic swath through doom, black metal and Viking forms, with a varied style that plays subgenres off each other and stands in conversation with European traditions while taking a distinctly American approach in the melding. Consistent in their atmosphere and Nordic themes, they’ve been a well-kept secret of the US underground for some time, the two-piece of Clayton Cushman (guitar, bass, keyboard, vocals) and David Csicsely (drums, vocals, guitar) not so much turning genre on its head in a check-us-out-we’re-so-weird cloying kind of way, but bending diverse elements to their will in service to their songs and expression.

is available now to preorder from Napalm and direct from the band. Links follow the killer album art and PR wire info below, with a stream of Saga if you’d like to get acquainted or want to revisit:

the flight of sleipnir v

THE FLIGHT OF SLEIPNIR Unleash Artwork, Title, Release Dates & Track Listing!

Sleipnir, Odin’s eight-legged horse, slides by land, water and air of the Nordic underworld. On its back, Sleipnir carries a very precious cargo: the fifth album by the Stoner Rock/Doomsters THE FLIGHT OF SLEIPNIR, shortly and concisely titled V.!

The American duo has unleashed the artwork, track listing & release dates of the upcoming album as the Germanic-Father sends his messengers again!

V is out on November 24th US/CAN & December 1stin the UK via Napalm Records! It will also be available as a special LP edition with three exclusive bonus tracks!

V Track Listing:
1. Headwinds
2. Sidereal Course
3. The Casting
4. Nothing Stands Obscured
5. Gullveig
6. Archaic Rites
7. Beacon in black horizon

For More Info Visit:

The Flight of Sleipnir, Saga (2013)

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The Flight of Sleipnir’s Saga Due Feb. 15

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 4th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

Last heard from with 2011’s Essence of Nine (review here), Colorado duo The Flight of Sleipnir will release their fourth album, Saga, on Feb. 15 through Eyes Like Snow. And in case you were wondering just how serious is the super-serious business they get up to, the tracklist is in Roman numerals. They also have their own runes. Yeah, it’s like that.

The news came in on the PR wire and it’s one more on an increasingly long list worth looking forward to. Dig it:


“Saga” is the band’s 4th album and by now I think we can dispense with comparisons. The Flight Of Sleipnir have become their own reference – a fact to which a large and continuously growing fan base attests.

On “Saga” David & Clay have further refined what has become their very own style, a totally unique combination of Viking and Doom Metal with progessive elements, which they developed and improved with every release.

In this respect, the new album is a consequent continuation of “Essence Of Nine”, with its focus on acoustic parts, melodic guitar leads and clean vocals on the one hand, and raw Viking/Black Metal outbursts on the other, everything merged into a seamless whole. In short, an exciting and never boring or repetitive journey through a rough northern landscape, interspersed with relaxed nights around the campfire.

The album will first be released in A5-Digi (ltd. 1000) and CD jewel case, and in late Spring 2013 on double LP incl. 8-page booklet & A2 poster. Attentive fans may be able to grab one of the very limited Die Hard Editions we’ve planned for the A5-Digi and LP.


I. Prologue
II. Reaffirmation
III. Reverence
IV. Harrowing Desperation
V. Heavy Rest The Chains Of The Damned
VI. Judgment
VII. Demise Carries With It A Song
VIII. The Mountain
IX. Hour Of Cessation
X. Remission
XI. Beneath Red Skies
XII. Epilogue

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The Flight of Sleipnir, Essence of Nine: Odin Rides to the Rockies

Posted in Reviews on June 30th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

Taking on a host of aesthetics for their third genre-bending album since their 2007 inception, Colorado duo The Flight of Sleipnir weave their way through blackened folk metal and a progressive-edged doom on Essence of Nine. With the rich (if often used) lore of Norse mythology as their lyrical inspiration, multi-instrumentalists Clayton Cushman (guitar, vocals, bass, keys) and David Csicsely (drums, vocals, guitar) provide a varied approach across Essence of Nine’s eight cuts, flowing smoothly from song to song despite a relatively lo-fi production and managing to affect a dark but still emotionally-communicated atmosphere – that is, they’re not just angry and blasting out – with switches between early Opethian clean singing and more blackened forest screams.

Their second offering through German imprint Eyes Like Snow, it’s hard to get an immediate read on Essence of Nine from opener “Transcendence,” since the song starts with a doomed riff and groove that – were the tone fuzzier – would be pure stoner rock, and moves before long into an acoustic part before giving way, in turn, to far-back screams and heavier guitars and drums. The Flight of Sleipnir do a lot of back and forth between heavy and mellow, but in the context of the songs themselves, it’s not redundant, since Cushman and Csicsely keep what they’re actually playing so varied. “Transcendence” has some repetition of parts, but the chorus isn’t hooky in a songwriting sense, and if the start of the record makes anything clear, it’s that The Flight of Sleipnir are concerned more with stylistic complexity and the contrast between musical light and dark than pop catchiness.

Still, the track gives only a cursory glance at the diversity Essence of Nine carries with it. “Upon This Path We Tread,” which follows, provides even smoother transitions and an effective inclusion of acoustics à la modern Negura Bunget, and the album proceeds from there to unfold with the engaging riffs of “A Thousand Stones” and an increasingly developed atmosphere. There’s something definitively European about the sound The Flight of Sleipnir elicit and the imagery these songs provoke, but for its doom elements and effective balance between the metal and folk in folk metal, I wouldn’t call Essence of Nine redundant. Even on “As the Ashes Rise (The Embrace of Dusk),” which arguably accounts for some of Cushman and Csicsely’s most raging moments, that metallic indulgence is complemented in the second half of the song by an acoustic-led wistfulness that leads gorgeously into the 7:31 centerpiece, “Nine Worlds,” the high point of the album.

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