New Audio: The Existential Howl of Spelljammer’s “The Pathfinder”

Over the last few years, the Stockholm, Sweden-based band Spelljammer has gone through a number of lineup changes with its current iteration featuring lead vocalist and founding member Niklas Olsson switching to bass, guitarist Robert Sörling, and the band’s newest drummer Jonatan Rimsbo — and through each of those lineup changes, the Swedish band’s sound has gone through several changes in directions as they’ve gone from stoner rock on their debut effort, 2010’s Inches From The Sun to increasingly darker on sophomore effort, 2013’s Vol. II. And the band’s third and forthcoming effort, Ancient of Days, has the newly-formed trio crafting an expansive and apocalyptic sound that sounds as though it nods to Black Sabbath, Soundgarden and psych rock, as you’ll on the album’s first single, “The Pathfinder,” which is comprised of scorchingly acidic, sludgy guitar chords from guitars tuned as low as possible, thundering drums. rumbling and growling bass and solos that Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil would approve of and dramatic interludes before turning into a towering and furious conflagration. It’s a cinematic track that evokes the smell of sulphur and acid wafting about . . .

Interestingly, some of the album’s lyrics were inspired by Nobel laureate and renowned Swedish poet Harry Martinson‘s “Aniara,” an epic poem 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 traveling throughout the expanse of the universe forever. It makes Spelljammer’s music seemingly an existential howl into an ever-expanding void.