Formless Master/Bayht Lahm – No Chords Barred (Split)

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Formless Master/Bayht Lahm – No Chords Barred (Split)
Reviewed: June 2020
Released: 2020, HPGD Productions
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz

Formless Master’s 2019 EP was a true gem. The brainchild of Gridlink multi-instrumentalist Takafumi Matsubara was a grindcore love letter to Bruce Lee and all things martial arts, and a generally all around good time. Not content to let the dust settle in the dojo, Formless Master are back with a new split EP, shared with New Jersey’s Bayht Lahm. Strap in and turn up the volume, NO CHORDS BARRED is here to destroy your speakers.

I’m an admitted sucker for a good split. I love having multiple bands with different backgrounds and a common language of metal coming together on a single release, oftentimes introducing fans to bands that they wouldn’t have otherwise have exposure to. The two sides of NO CHORDS BARRED operate in a sort of yin/yang capacity – the Formless Master tunes stick to the schtick and a manic delivery, but are crack your sternum heavy. The Bayht Lahm side is more traditional sociopolitical grind commentary that leans into death metal territory, and is just as ready to break a bone or two. The buildup and payoff of a track like “Knocked Down Repeatedly” stands in stark contrast to the guttural raze of “Xenophobic Nationalists”, but the stylistic shifts between the 2 bands balance the album tremendously well.

NO CHORDS BARRED rips from front to back, and offers plenty of grindtastic fun for those so inclined to indulge. Put on your Gi, grab your Nunchucks, and prepare to give the capitalist oppressors a piece of your mind, Formless Master and Bayht Lahm have your back.


Track List:
1. The Clones of Bruce Lee (Formless Master)
2. Impossibly Mismatched (Formless Master)
3. Knocked Down Repeatedly (Formless Master)
4. Ballad of Bolo Yeung (Formless Master)
5. Gente de Sal (Mitos Faslos) (Bayht Lahm)
6. …Of Ruination (Bayht Lahm)
7. Xenophobic Nationalists (Bayht Lahm)
8. Decadence of a Capatlist Society (Bayht Lahm)


Formless Master
Takafumi Matsubara- Guitars/Bass
Crawlin Lewis – Drums
Matthias Joyce – Vocals

Bayht Lahm
Rafael Soberanis – Drums
Carlos Estrada – Guitars, Vocals