Hey there tech-death heads! It seems like a lot of people were digging the two The Ritual Aura songs last week, so I'm happy we have yet another early exclusive stream of some truly fantastic tech-death for your ears today. Ahead of its release next Tuesday, May 10th, we bring you an exclusive early stream of Eon, the debut full-length and swansong for standout underdogs Formless. As always, all prior editions of this series can be perused here.
Boston/Connecticut based technical death metal group Formless have an interesting history, they first teased their way into many of our hearts way back in 2010 when they dropped an intriguing three song demo of high quality tech-death with a unique flair all their own. Then things seemed to go dark, or quieter, or delayed, a mix of all those things really as time went on. But instead of getting into that, I'd prefer to discuss how damn good Eon is as an album now that it's finally almost out. Eon is a 53 minute massive slab of eclectic and infinitely varied progressive minded tech-death. A modern classic to my ears, but then again, the appeal of Formless always was the complexity and hard-to-pigeonhole nature of their music. And Eon takes that spastic stylistic jumping prone nature Formless have shown in the past, and craft an even larger and more inclusive sound. Guitarist Annie Grunwald adds gorgeous clean singing to a variety of the songs as well. In a way that never feels cliched, and also would probably appeal to fans of Fallujah as well.
Normally I wouldn't do this, but the band cite a massive list of influences and you can definitely hear just about all of them at some point in their music. So just think of Eon as a scientifically precise distillation and recombination of the bands they list on Facebook influence wise: Akercocke, Anata, Animals As Leaders, Arsis, Augury, Between the Buried & Me, Cynic, Death, Decapitated, Decrepit Birth, Defeated Sanity, Era Untold, The Faceless, Fallujah, Gojira, Gorod, Into Eternity, The John Jorgenson Quintet, Krallice, Martyr, Meshuggah, Mithras, Mr. Bungle, Necrophagist, Obscura, Opeth, Psycroptic, Sleep Terror, Spawn of Possession, Symphony X, Windir, Wolves in the Throne Room.
I think another way to put it is to compare what they do on Eon as being in a similarly constructed vein to Cephalic Carnage in the sense of writing songs that frequently flip through styles multiple times in their songs. The Formless-Eon record is like that, but with shifting through multiple tech-death styles, prog, and black metal elements back-and-forth endlessly. Making for songs that are never straightforward and simple to digest. Which to me, makes it all the greater of a listen, as its demanding of your sole attention, but as a result is an infinitely rewarding and epic release to hear!
If this is their final release, which the band has expressed it is, since members have moved away and other factors, its one hell of a way to go out. Eon is the kind of swansong worth remembering and coming back to. I really have to give mad props to each member of the band, as the performances here by all the members are fucking fantastic. The line-up on Formless-Eon is: Kevin Narowski – Vocals, Annie Grunwald – Guitar, Clean Vocals, Kenny Bullard – Guitar, and Craig Breitsprecher – Bass, Jake Shields-Drums. Some members of Formless will continue on in other killer groups worth checking out (some covered here previously!) such as: Xenosis and Archaic Decapitator who have a sick release coming up actually!