Friday, 27 July 2018

FORMING THE VOID ~ RIFT ...... review

It only seems like five minutes since Forming The Void's guitarist/vocalist, James Marshall got in touch with Desert Psychlist to point us in the direction of his bands debut release "Skywards", that was in 2015 and since that time the band have released a second album, "Relic", plus a split with Houston outfit Pyreship, all of which has culminated in positive reviews from publications as influential as Classic Rock, Metal Sucks and CVLT Nation. After wowing audiences across the USA with their brand of huge sounding prog tinted sludgy doom and stoner metal the band returned to the studio this year with a new drummer and a pocketful full of new ideas to record their third album "Rift" on Kozmic Artifactz (due to be released on August 17 2018).

Losing a member of your band can sometimes result in a complete and utter change of dynamic in said bands sound and style so when Forming The Void parted ways with their drummer, Jelly Boyd, prior to recording their new album, it was with a modicum of trepidation that Desert Psychlist approached their latest release "Rift". Thankfully we needn't have worried ,the addition of White Light Cemetery's Thomas Colley as a replacement drummer may have brought differences to Forming The Void's sound but those differences are subtle and totally in keeping with the musical vision original members, James Marshall (guitar/vocals), Shadi Omar Al-Khansa (guitar),and Luke Baker (bass), explored on previous releases. If you have followed Forming The Void's career since their inception you will know to expect huge swathes of growling stonerized prog and sludge metal offset by moments of lysergic tranquillity and swirling ambience, "Rift" does not disappoint in any of those departments, in fact it would not be wrong to say that there is probably far more growl and far more tranquillity going on here than they have ever delivered before. Marshall's trademark monotone bellow, always a highlight of any Forming The Void release, on "Rift", sounds bigger, rounder and a little more cultured on this latest outing, Marshall croons, growls and bellows over the huge walls of crunching riffage, scorching complex solo's and glistening motifs that he and fellow axe-slinger Al-Khansa bring to the table, his voice competing ,and just about winning, against an onslaught of pulverising fretboard wizardry that is at times breathtaking. Beneath this whirlwind of low slung guitar pyrotechnics and monolithic vocal gymnastics Colley and Baker provide the heartbeat that drives each of "Rift's" seven songs, the pairing steering Forming The Void's grooves through a myriad of differing dynamics and tempos, creating an array of complex and diverse rhythmic platforms for Marshall and Al-Khansa to build upon with a plethora of six-string texturing and colour.

Massive sounding doomic grooves shaded in psychedelic hues and coated in a sheen of metallic prog intricacy make "Rift" not only one of the most anticipated albums of the year but also one of the most enjoyable.
Check it out ….

© 2018 Frazer Jones

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