More Soundboard picks after the jump:
"The guys in Colorado-based blackened folk-metal band the Flight of Sleipnir want to be Scandinavian so badly that they probably eat lutefisk willingly," writes Monica Kendrick. "But their pretty melodicism retains an American hippie quality. On their fourth full-length, Saga, romantic instrumentals share space with heavy, doomy riffs but never fully integrate. Still, the Flight of Sleipnir aren’t pulling the old bait-and-switch—they’re good at both."
Wesley Eisold used to front early-aughts hardcore band American Nightmare, but as the guiding presence of darkwave outfit Cold Cave he "sings with a slyness in his drawling vocals that’s a lot cooler and more dapper than just barking into a mike," writes Kevin Warwick. "His most recent release, the seven-inch EP Black Boots, is much more pared down than anything on 2011's Cherish—it’s built less on driving rhythms and erratic melodies and more on his echoing, drugged-out vocals."
Fendika is a group of Ethiopian musicians and dancers whose art belongs to an ancient time. Following the "amzari" tradition (the Ethiopian equivalent of a griot or bard), the collective consists of a singer, two dancers, and instrumentalists playing kebero drums, a masenko (one-stringed fiddle), and a krar (six-stringed lyre). Tuesday they visit Constellation for a show of their own, and Wednesday at the Hideout they improvise in small groups with drummer Tim Daisy, guitarist Terrie Hessels of the Ex, cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm, guitarist Jeff Parker, saxophonist Dave Rempis, and reedist Ken Vandermark.
On Chris Stamey's recent solo album Lovesick Blues, his first in eight years, "He’s in an introspective, mellow mood, surrounding sweet-toned acoustic guitar with delicate harmony singing and melancholy strings and winds," writes Peter Margasak. "The melodies are beautiful, but by the end the album feels a bit soft and lumpy—thankfully a few songs, most notably 'Astronomy,' erupt with real fury."