Spelljammer - Abyssal Trip

Key Facts

Country: 🇸🇪

Genre: Doom/Stoner Metal

Release Date: February 26th, 2021

Record Label(s): RidingEasy Records

Band Members

Jonatan Rimsbo - Drums

Robert Sörling - Guitars 

Niklas Olsson - Vocals, Guitars 

Spelljammer - Among The Holy

Rating (out of 5🤘): 🤘🤘🤘🤘.5
Favourite Track(s): Lake, Among The Holy, Abyssal Trip, Silent Rift

In Sweden, if you're not writing death metal with the Boss Metal Zone MT-2, there is a good chance that you're delving deep into the world of fuzz, slowing the tempo and writing unbelievably good doom metal. Spelljammer are the latest band to add its sizeable riffs to the hulking Swedish doom monolith. Abyssal Trip is only the band's second full length release but it has all the power of a veteran band that's been going since the 1990s. The Stockholm trio work thundering riffs with subtle psych elements to create a dynamic and diverse record filled with proto-Sabbath motifs and that signature Swedish execution. Whilst 2015's debut Ancient Of Days was a ball bustlingly riff heavy outing, Abyssal Trip aims to take that raw energy, refine it and take you on an unforgettable trip.

If this album was to be described in one word, simply put, it is; hypnotic. There is a mesmerising, trance like spell that descends upon your mind from the very first note of the slow, rumbling riffs. It pulls you in to this wonderfully bizarre and extraordinary world, much like the spaceman that adorns the album's cover, you feel like a stranger in a new world. Crossing the divides between the three tenses, past, present and future, which makes the three way split-screening of your mind is oddly relaxing as you become aware of the music. That may sound like I'm tripping on drugs, but I can assure you, no substances were taken during the writing of this review, the fuzz riffs was enough! Musically, the album effortlessly transitions between primal, skull crushing riffs and delicate, complex and intriguing psychedelic sections that lend themselves to a progressive rock/metal influence, throughout various points in the album. The subtle nuances created by this equal balance of heavy and chill is quite remarkable. Every part seems to effortlessly flow into the next, complimenting everything that has gone before it. There is probably a very good and justifiable reason why there is six years between Ancient Of Days and Abyssal Trip, one thing that you can be certain on is that Abyssal Trip symbolises the band's development and evolution into a rising juggernaut. The album's two ten minute masterpieces, title track Abyssal Trip and Silent Rift are easily the standout tracks of the album, packing enough heavy gravitational riffs to cause a black hole fused with the atmospherics of psychedelic leads and flanged melodies. As a listening experience, the album is highly immersive, one of those albums that you can put on and watch time slowly melt away like a Salvador Dali painting. Even though the distorted vocals blend well with the fuzzy riffs, the barking, gritty tones of Niklas Olsson gives the album some extra bite. Overall, Abyssal Trip certainly takes you on a journey through the fuzz and haze of a strange world where you are the alien. Which in some respects is oddly comforting as you feel your stress melt away as the riffs grasp you in their psychedelic grip.

The production whilst still containing some of the rawness of Ancient Of Days is much more refined. Some of the fuzz and distortion has been controlled a lot better, making the overall mix a lot less muddy. That in turn allows the faster riffs in Among The Holy for example to be more expressive in a dynamic sense as the subtle parts of the riffs aren't overshadowed by hulking distortion. Guitar and bass tone wise, it is very reminiscent of an Electric Wizard style. The bass is most prominent, weighing the songs down with a fuzzy distortion, while the rhythm guitars augment it in the mid range. The lead guitar processing with flanges/chorus makes it feel like the guitarist is running around your head, playing modulated leads in every part of your skull, which gives the album a hypnotic feel. There is also a very retro feel to the drum mix, tight and cohesive and with that round tone that remind you of early Sabbath and Zeppelin records. The kick still has a weight punch, but the snare has a warm, slightly blunted snap that adds to the entrancing music. Overall, this mix has everything you need in an excellent doom record.

If you fancy some old school, gritty Swedish doom, the Spelljammer's Abyssal Trip is for you!

Spelljammer - Abyssal Trip


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