Spelljammer, Ancient Of Days LP
“We like things on a grand scale,” says Spelljammer bassist/vocalist Niklas Olsson. That’s a bit of an understatement considering the Stockholm, Sweden trio’s penchant for massive, slow-burning sludge riffs intercut with dramatic melodic interludes. There’s the pummeling heft of detuned guitars rumbling across the rugged expanse of unwieldy drums counterbalanced with moments of Master of Reality-era Sabbath’s introspective acoustic breaks and Pink Floyd’s Meddle-era psychedelia. These extreme shifts in dynamic give the band’s third album a sense of epic depth unlike most of Spelljammer’s peers.
“The vastness of everything is something that I seem to think about a lot,” Olsson says, “and I guess that shows in the lyrics.” Some of Ancient of Days’ words were inspired by the epic poem Aniara by Swedish author and Nobel laureate Harry Martinson in which a spaceship leaving an uninhabitable Earth is hurtled off course, sending its thousands of passengers on a steady course in the wrong direction and there is nothing they can do about it. They will all slowly die as the ship continues from the solar system, forever into nothingness. This type of apocalyptic woe permeates throughout the 5-song, 40-minute album in perfect bond with the vastness of the music.