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(Behold) The Thundering Power Of An Iron Horse! - 100%

CHAIRTHROWER, December 4th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2018, CD, High Roller Records (Slipcase)

Hotter than an expeditiously raging, full-tilt and inferno-bound, disintegrating asteroid is Norway's Flight, a wickedly fleeting and original "1970s proto-metal" sounding quartet from Oslo which, three years following an idiosyncratically received - not to mention wholly innocuous - namesake debut, slickly turned around with an absolute stunner of a science-fiction conceived sophomore full-length audaciously catalogued as A Leap Through Matter (under the ubiquitously great High Roller Records), while featuring eight inter-woven, if not co-dependently appealing, tracks whose clock-work-precise order in the rotation suggests a highly syncopated production larger than the sum of its (individual) parts.

Oddly, the singer's jaunty and eclectic, low-to-mid range - not to mention wonky-as-Hell - demeanor subtly evokes Satan's Brian Ross, yet, to my epoch wandering ears, also nostalgically smacks of Dust's Richie Wise from days of yore. As for the band's "stellar" musicianship, imagine if the likes of retro-gleaned genre worthies Warpig, early Pentagram (i.e. the Vincent McAllister "daze"), Wicked Lady and Winterhawk bore a love child, then dotingly bestowed upon it a supreme command of the major scale...yup, that's right!

Indeed, the better part of its ethereally buoyant riffs, licks and solos, from the pace-setting three minute instrumental, "Arrival" (welcome home, sons and daughters, welcome home) to the lengthy valedictorian cliff-hanger "Leave The Coast", adheres to seldom employed fret-board theatrics which precariously leave the listener(s) teetering on their (tickled) toes; that is, when they're not too busy guffawing with delight at the corny n' kooky "Three's Company jingle" guitar licks which make timely cameos on both "Arrival" and its immediate successor/compliment-or, "One with the Sun"!

Beyond said uproarious innovation, and succeeding a leisurely handful of hokey slides à la "Don't Lose It" (from the debut), the album starts gaining traction with an expressive, slam-bashing drum beat before launching for good with front/ax man Christoffer Bråthen (ex-Black Viper bassist) gracefully gliding into position to the mystical, antiquated tune of:

"See Creation of Life unfolding all its parts!
Feel the emotions inherent from the first dawn!";

then, groovy-ly:

"Earth, Sea and Tree!
I see you; you see me..."

From then on, A Leap Through Matter ("wheeee!") never lets up!!

In fact, the bulk of its absurdly mesmeric attraction has to do with multi-layered, superimposed build-ups and tidily arranged implements such as the jolting, albeit intensely enthralling, "You keep on shining!" at the behest of the latter, the funky, up-beat aura surrounding the "game-show" waltzing "The Pendulum", or perhaps even the warp driven title track's buzzing/sawing/honking intro leads. That's another thing: the production is simply out of this World in terms of dissonant feedback, tone and pitch variation. In other words, the analogous mixing and mastering utterly behooves this modern-day trad metal supernova - which can easily pass for a genuine 70s rock album beside vintage, grass-roots classics such as Clear Blue Sky and Farm's titular 1970-71 recordings, for instance.

The rhythm section comprised of bassist Jonas Bye and drummer "Kickan" duly shines, and, for all intents and purposes, is readily attributable as "jazz-metal", so wizened and invariably tumble-some are the outlandish arrangements of off-kilter drum rides. This is plainly clear on a couple of particularly catchy, back-to-back mid-point numbers i.e. "Ride On", an airily seizing and highly melodious 70s styled humdinger if there ever was one, and the mondo-transcendental "The Traveler", likely the LP's A1 highlight thanks to its wistfully adventurous, space-faring verses and vivaciously tuneful refrain, in addition to further scorching, barn-burning solos which give the throttling impression the lads - notably Lord Bråthen and his inseparable six-string sidekick, Kristian Ingvaldsen (still active with Purple Hill Witch) - are wailing away at arm's length, right there in front of you. It's cathartic, to say the least.

Now, instead of decelerating towards its unavoidable endgame, Flight brilliantly flicks its boosters on for the next-to-last "Reviving Winds" before making one (i.e. myself, or a fellow egregiously enthused "Flighter" I know) pine for more of the Scandinavian good stuff with an equally hard-driven humdinger in said finale, "Don't Leave the Coast". Suffice to say, A Leap Through Matter celeritously winds down on a dead-to-rights high note.

Please take my initial band/front man similarities with a grain of salt, however, as Flight virtually "soars" apart as a uniquely gripping phenomenon. On these lavishly lauding words, delay no further - book yourself passage on this "flight" ASAP!

Originally written for www.grande-rock.com