In advance of their forthcoming album, Relic, Louisiana’s Forming the Void have been teasing us with just a single track: “Bialozar.” As far as teasers go, it’s working; I want more. They waste no time dropping that main riff on you, letting the drums change up underneath the urgent churning of the fuzzed-out guitars and bass. The cleaner chorus sections open up space for some atmospheric guitar work and the outro solo feels like it will be a killer extended jam section live. On the recording though, they reign it in. Your mileage may vary, but I think that’s a good thing. Capping the song at 5:25 feels right and doesn’t let any of the ideas get stale.
Soundwise, I find them a little hard to place. The vocals are definitely reminiscent of The Sword (and, therefore, of Sabbath). Unlike The Sword, however, the riffage here doesn’t feel retro. With a smoother distortion sound and growled vocals the exact same song would be a groovy death metal number. “Bialozar” seems to rock harder than the songs on their previous effort, Skyward, and I find that to be an improvement. I like my stoner rock to be on the heavier side. Speaking of heavy, a bialozar, as it turns out, is a giant bird in Polish mythology. That’s pretty rad, and I like seeing stoner lyrics that aren’t about Vikings or Chutlu every once in a while. Honestly, my biggest complaint is that I don’t think the bass guitar is quite loud enough, and that’s pretty minor. It’s only one song, but I like it. B+
The whole record comes out on March 17th.