Saturday, 20 December 2014

Formes - Dysphoria Part 1 (Album Review)

Dysphoria Part 1 cover art

Album Type: Album
Date Released: 12th December 2014
Label: No Fun Intended

Dysphoria Part 1 – Track Listing

1.Through This Hole 06:44
2.Tumult 06:58
3.I Am Nothing 06:50
4.I Will Make You Ill 04:20
5.Smile Club 04:04
6.Dead Ends 05:42
7. [calm] 01:47
8. I Don't Feel Safe 05:08


Jordan - Drums, backing vocals
Rob - Guitar, synth
Steve - Bass, vocals


Formes is a weird sounding band that is very hard to describe. You could call them an Experimental Metal band as they fuse so many ideas and noises for one uncompromising album full of great ideas that verges on insanity at times. Formes album progresses from Sludge, Stoner, Folk, Doom, Drone, Post-Metal, Industrial and even Death Metal. After an acclaimed performance at the recent Liverpool Psych Festival, many people are starting to take notice of Formes.

Their debut album - Dysphoria Part 1 - will have both its fair share of admirers and people who want to give this band a wide berth. Opening track - Through This Hole - does exactly that by taking you through a musical philosophical hole. Formes add progressive jazz rhythms to clean based vocals and even death based growls. The music veers off to Psychedelic Trance Doom Territory with Formes keeping their cards close to their chest. It's quite folksy and theatrical at times, which puts Formes firmly into the Avant Garde crowd. It’s an intriguing start to the album as it's a complex, brash and confident track that sees Formes creativity for everyone to witness and experience.

2nd track - I Am Nothing - is an even crazier offering with Formes adding strange creepy noises to the mix. The vocals once again have a nightmarish quality to them as they venture into clean and death based growls with jazz musical interludes becoming heavier as time passes by. Third track - Tummult - can be considered the albums more straightforward song but even that description can be applied very loosely. It's a track where the first couple of minutes are taking up by ambient noises, sounds and glitch based vocals with the riffs slowly building to a loud violent wall of noise where the vocals can grate at times. The clean-based vocals are way out of place here, as Formes should have focused on the Death based growls as it perfectly matches the bleak sonic atmospherics that the song contains.

If you're not enjoying the album by now then it maybe best to switch off and find your musical kicks elsewhere. Formes offer more of the same, crazy schizophrenic moods on the rest of the album. I will admit even I am still struggling to decide what this album is really about. Formes don't offer any helpful clues for the casual listener to enjoy their music. This is a multi-layered odyssey where experimentation is key. Fourth track - I Will Make You Ill - is a drone-based track with Formes bringing a sense of dread to the album as the music is kept to a minimum with droning noises and guitars paired against occult based vocals. It can be quite distracting to listen to at times, as the song doesn't really go anywhere. I admire Formes decision to venture into another musical direction.

On the next track - Smile Club - you wouldn't believe this was the same band as Formes have written a more traditional Psych Indie Rock song. It has shades of drone here and there but it doesn't match the other tracks until the last minute or so when heavy sludge riffs spring into action. It seems the band have a complex musical identity crisis on their hands. The rest of the album carries on with the crazed experimentation that will make you question what were Formes thinking when making this album. It shouldn't really work as Formes have thrown everything into the mix here. It can be very frustrating to listen to at times but they hammer out a riff that feels like a gift from the musical gods and you're hooked for entirely different reasons.

This is an excellent album though I don't know if I would listen to this on a regular basis, as you have to be in a certain mood to appreciate the full effect. This is still a superior debut album to confuse and delight people with. Formes have the potential to be classed as musical innovators within the UK Metal Scene in the years to come. Formes, you maybe one crazy deluded bunch of warped individuals, but you have my full undivided attention.

Thanks to Formes for the promo. Dysphoria Part 1 is available to buy now on DD on BandCamp through No Fun Intended.

Words by Steve Howe

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