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Album Preview: Forming the Void – Relic

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.

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