sabato 17 marzo 2018

Formis - "Chaozium" (Defense Records, 2017)

Band: Formis
Title: Chaozium
Genre: Death/Thrash Metal
Year: 14th March 2017
Time: 29 min
Rating: 83/100

During the half of December 2017, Marcin from Mythrone Promotion, asked me my postal address in order to sent me, as a sort of payment for my work for Timpani allo Spiedo 'zine, the physical CDs of 6 releases by the excellent Polish death/thrashing label Defense Records, included three ones (Whorehouse, Rotengeist and Uganga) already reviewed on these pages before his request. Well, the pack arrived, precisely, on 2nd January 2018 and...UNBELIEVABLE! There were all the 6 CDs promised by Marcin and each of them was accompanied by the relative booklets and, then, I put all them into proper CD cases, as you can see through the pic below. Marcin is a very nice guy, don't you think? So, today I'll review an album into that pack: "Chaozium" by the Polish quintet Formis.

Third album in a career started in 2010, "Chaozium" show a band that plays a kind of unorthodox death/thrash metal. I said "unorthodox" not in the sense of strange experimental solutions but in the sense that that the music of Formis is characterized by a gloomy and haunting atmosphere (as clearly listenable already in the first real song "Skaven" after the threatening intro "Arcanum") that, in certain cases, is even slightly close to black metal thanks to riffs also with arpeggios. In addition, there are some apocalyptic vibes with desolating melodies by the lead guitar and tom-tom drums, as in the end of the same "Skaven".

At first glance, the 8 songs of the album are built through essential schemes also because many of them last 3 minutes or lesser. But, listening again and again to them, you realize that the band is able to enrich the songs with good and imaginative arrangements and particular details, especially by the guitars and the drums, that ranges from tom-tom patterns to blast-beat outbursts. The musical discourse is greatly enriched also through fantastic guitar solos, and some of them are played by 3 guests: Krzysztof Michalak ("Skaven") from Infernal War (this very violent band will play in my city, Rome, on 9th May to support the mighty Marduk along with the Norwegian demons Ragnarok!), Przemyslav Latacz ("Epigon") from Planet Hell (a progressive death metal band with an absurd sci-fi concept focused on the works of the writer Stanislaw Lem!) and Dariusz Kupis ("Haeresis") from the deathcore combo One Shot Eye.
Probably, the only real flaw of "Chaozium" comes from the sound of the drums, at least regarding the snare, maybe too high if compared with the guitars but this, at the end, is a very irrelevant problem. In fact, this album is really fantastic also thanks to standout tracks like "Skaven", the haunting slow-tempo "Fornelius", "Epigon" (that contains a memorable guitar solo part) and "Silurian" (strong of melodic but furious black metal explosions). It's a shame that, on the booklet of the album, there are no English translations of the lyrics since these ones, giving to the music an harsher touch, are completely in Polish (if I am not mistaken, it's the first time that the band uses only their mother tongue in the place of the English language) but, if you want to understand something about the themes faced by Formis and their sonic assault, then I recommend to you to watch (below) the official lyric video of "Alchemizer". And so, Formis confirm again an idea of mine: Poland has got one of the best extreme metal scenes in the world!


1 - Arcanum
2 - Skaven
3 - Alchemizer
4 - Fornelius
5 - Epigon
6 - Silurian
7 - Haeresis
8 - Luminescent
9 - Chaozium


Marek Zając - vocals
Sebastian Blabuś - guitars
Hubert Nowak - guitars
Jacek "Jaco" Bieniasz - bass
Rafał Habrajski - drums

Guests at the guitar solos:

Krzysztof Michalak ("Skaven")
Przemyslav Latacz ("Epigon")
Dariusz Kupis ("Haeresis")

Defense Records:

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