Released: 2012, Eisenwald
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Twisted sonic landscapes, dissonant passages, disturbing lyrical themes about the futility of our existence and the myriad of human suffering are what Formloff are all about. Formed in 2002 with a few demos across the years before debut album “Adjø Silo” in 2006 - Formloff have returned in 2012 with sophomore album “Spyhorelandet” (Land Of Vomitwhores)
Opener “Det Dritet Som Renner Ut I Ua” contains a pretty varied set of sounds straight from the start - gloomy doom laden riffs open and close the track, whilst sporadic heavy blasting jumps in out of the blue (accompanied by rather odd screams & wails I might add) before dropping into some kind of twisted dissonant groove as the track lumbers like a rotten corpse to it’s end.
There’s certainly a sense by the time the more straightforward “Harde Ord På Kammerset” is finished that this is going to be no easy listening session - though title track “Spyhorelandet” manages to sound both razor blade visceral and strangely triumphant as the track morphs thoughout, It certainly draws comparison to some of Enslaved’s later work as it reaches it’s close, especially due to the clean vocals.
The stop start nature of this album can often be quite intriguing, “Faen!” is a good example of the sometimes minimal samples and rumbling noises that occur almost completely at random in between blast beats and discordant passages that break up the album - it often leaves you wondering about the almost schizophrenic nature of it’s structure and where it will head next, what new sounds will burst out at you. And speaking of being mentally disturbed, you might have to be to write something quite as intense as “Skævven” which is incredibly full of complex layers, from guitars to synths - layered vocals and erratic drumming, even the rumbling bass of it’s outro is quite ominous!
It’s always interesting to hear other instruments in metal being brought into prominence and with tracks like “Den Gamle Jorda” and it’s rather erratic and bizarre organ that accompanies the very powerful drums on this track - to the Saxophone solo in “Drokkne I Ei Flo Ta Åske” drawing the obvious conclusion to Shining of course, but this feels like more like a off the wall blues rock section in a intriguing and refreshing departure from the album’s darker moments.
Though to be fair it’s not the most original avant garde album I’ve heard in a while - there is room here to push things further into the realms of experimentation, that’s for sure.
That being said there’s some incredibly diverse sounds on this record and sometimes it can be difficult to process all of it in one play through - given repeat listens this album will certainly reward your patience with something new each time you hear it.
Review By Paul James