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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 ("wheee!") 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 the warp driving 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 alongside 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.

What's more, instead of decelerating towards its essential 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 of a finale in "Don't Leave the Coast". Suffice to say, A Leap Through Matter literally winds "up" as opposed to "down" - on a dead-to-rights high note at that.

Please take my initial band/front man similarities with a grain of salt, however, as Flight soars apart as a uniquely seizing phenomenon.

(Book your passage today!)

Originally written for

A Leap To The Top Of My 2018 List - 100%

SweetLeaf95, November 23rd, 2018

Bands that throw back to the ‘70s style of heavy metal are always gonna draw me right on in. Bands that throw back to the ‘70s style of heavy metal and produce it very well while piling on some tasty toppings are gonna make it stick like duct tape. Flight do exactly this with their upcoming sophomore album titled A Leap Through Matter. Musically, it sits right along that border of heavy metal, as the riffs are written in the metal style, but it’s softened in tone. Picture the friendlier vibes of Thin Lizzy with the energy of Iron Maiden’s debut album, and Satan’s vocalist dialed back some.

Before anything else, the production job on A Leap Through Matter deserves recognition of its own. The bass can be heard at the perfect volume, doubling down with the rhythm guitar to make for an incredible foundation. Even though the riffs themselves are heavy, it’s almost entirely played in major scales, keeping the positive energy at an all time high. he lead guitar also stands out significantly, mostly because of the tone used in the solos. These solos echo some of the softest and smoothest playing that manages to still contain a decent amount of energy.

The mind blowing doesn’t stop there. The way that the vocals are pressed into the mix smear the ultimate layer of icing on the cake. Let alone the fact that there is so much melody and order to the voice; the frontman’s voice has such a pure sound that it almost incorporates harmony within itself. Of course, certain times the band backs him as well. “The Pendulum” is one of my favorite examples of this, especially when operatic hums are implemented to coincide with the beyond catchy guitar doodles.

Faster and slower songs can be found here, preventing A Leap Through Matter from seeming formulaic. In fact, the title track is definitely one of the faster ones. It uses all methods described, but bursts through with borderline speed metal rhythms, as always staying true to its clean form. My oh my is there ever a lot to get from here! The only thing that I don’t think I’ve touched on is the genius way that the guitar is used as transition and introduces effects here and there. “Ride On” is a good example, as the instrumentation dances around a little more, but really every track does this.

Flight are easily going to make my top three of the year list, and there isn’t a single bad song on their sophomore effort. I truly can’t get descriptive enough and have to resort to telling you to check this out for yourself. Let these spacey lightened lyrics carry you away, especially if you dig bands like Thin Lizzy, Blue Oyster Cult, Judas Priest, Nazareth, or Lucifer’s Friend. Right up there with Sundrifter’s Visitations for me.

Originally written for Indy Metal Vault: