- Rise of the Sonic Surfer
Release Date: September 22, 2017
Label: Riding Easy Records
Hailing from Sweden, Spelljammer just put out their third release, “Ancient of Days“, via RidingEasy Records. This record is quite a milestone for them as they just parted with one of their bandmates and thus, act now as a three-piece band. So, did this significant change of line-up do them any good? Well, the answer seems pretty obvious as this album is their longest and heaviest one yet. So I hope you have a good subwoofer because it is meant to be played very loud.
To give you a simple idea of what you can expect, just picture Sleep, Monolord and Acid King merging together at the very center of a supernova. The result is one huge, nasty sonic titan that will slowly crush everything standing on its way.
But what does “crush” really mean? We all have read this a thousand times and the word might be a bit overused, but it fits perfectly the album: I don’t think one would be able to keep standing while listening to the whole thing – it is just so loud you want to let it all go and submit to the music. And in a sense it will be easy to, because you will feel like you are lost in deep space. Sometimes you will witness the collision between two stars, some other time you will be all alone in the deepest part of the galaxy, cradled by a few notes echoing from far away.
The production has done a fantastic job enhancing the power of the riffs and the sheer brutality of the drums: the bass is loud and clear, the guitar rips your ears and the drums pummel you to death. The result is such that if you listen to it loud enough you will feel like moving inside a giant bubble of sound, as if you were floating in space. You will feel continuous waves of sound slowly passing through your body as you escape reality to explore the secrets hidden behind far-away galaxies.
Nevertheless, it has to be noted that if their sound is huge, it is by no means oppressive. Indeed, as I said, it feels more like being lost is space than crushed by a giant comet – you are witnessing the destruction, you are not part of it. The main reason why is that although it cannot be denied that the album is heavy most of the time, there are also a few moments of pure peace. The band clearly wanted to establish a balance between heaviness and quietness. The use of reverb during those sweet mellower moments helps a lot to emphasize the psychedelic quality of the tracks and the vastness of space. One could almost find them to be prone to meditation.
All in all, it is a solid doom metal album – Spelljammer does what they know and it is for the best. - Mr. Haze (MoreFuzz.net https://morefuzz.net/reviews/spelljammer-ancient-days/)