Monday 16 July 2018

Forming The Void - Rift (Album Review)

Release date: August 18th 2018. Label: Kozmik Artifactz. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Rift – Tracklisting

1.Extinction Event
2.On We Sail
3.Arcane Mystic
6.Ark Debris


James Marshall – guitar/vocals
Shadi Omar Al-Khansa- guitar
Luke Baker – bass
Thomas Colley - drums


Forming The Void made quite the impression last year when they released their second album Relic. Relic was an album that won major praise within the Sludge/Stoner Metal community with the music influenced by Led Zepplin and Mastodon. Relic was a trippy and heavy psychedelic affair which even ended up on our best albums of 2017 list.

Forming The Void has return with their epic new album Rift. Newly signed to Kozmik Artifactz. Rift follows the same path as Relic but with a more groove orientated sound. Forming The Void's Sludge Rock/Metal vibes that made a huge part of Relic are still here but there not as direct. As Forming The Void perform a more Psychedelic Stoner Metal sound with heavy moments of Doom Metal and Classic Rock creating a more exciting sound.

Opening song - Extinction Event - has a Led Zepplin style groove but with Forming The Void's modern sounding Psychedelic flair with traces of Progressive Sludgy Rock. The mood even changes to Ambient Post Rock at times. However it's the heavy riffs and the superb vocals of James make this a winning track to open the album with.

Second track - On We Sail - is perhaps my favourite song on the album. As Forming The Void create a sludgy and spaced out heavy sound. The lyrics are superbly written and the song has a catchy sing-along chorus. Forming The Void maybe channelling their inner-Mastodon at times but the band pulls this off with their own distinctive style.

Third track - Arcane Mystic - is inspired by classic rock sounds of the last forty years or so which is offset by a heavy progressive Spaced Out Stoner Metal sound. The lyrics are quite clever as they elevate this song to a more spiritual level. Most of the songs on the album run around near the five to six minute mark. So you can expect to hear different styles of progressive music on Rift.

Fourth song - Transient - is another highlight with Forming The Void opting for a slower sound with the song having a more personal feel. The vocals from James impress yet again. The song does become heavier as time passes by. Though the mellow post-rock parts of the song are my favourite parts. As it shows how Forming The Void have progressed as songwriters and musicians from their last album.

The final three songs Arrival, Ark Debris and Shrine see Forming The Void returning to their trademark Psychedelic heavy sound. Cosmic and Ark Debris offer more Sludge/Stoner Metal grooves as the band keep up the trippy and space rock sound they have built their reputation upon. The last track, Shrine is an epic ten minute plus song that features some of the band's best music to date. As the song moves in so many different directions and when it the album does finally end, you're left wanting more. That's a good thing. As you will be entertained throughout this epic album.

Rift is a different album to Relic. It may have similar sounds and ideas. However Rift takes you on a more personal and spiritual journey. The production on Rift is simply first rate. With the album sounding fresh and super heavy from the start.

Relic made me a fan of Forming The Void's music. However Rift has made Forming The Void become one of my favourite bands. Rift will be considered as one of the best albums of the year. Simply unmissable

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Forming The Void and Richard at Sheltered Life PR for the promo. Rift will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via KozmikArtifactz from August 18th 2018.