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Monday, March 21, 2016

Review: Formless Devotion - Sparks Of Separation

Despite being quite a hotspot for metal activity, the sheer novelty of a band coming from South Africa upon the masses at large makes for appointment listening just for that factor alone. Even rarer is for a quality band to come forth, so this release on Cyclopean Eye Productions of the debut EP from black metallers Formless Devotion is a highly enjoyable release.

Despite appearing for the most part as a rather traditional nature, there’s plenty to enjoy here with this set-up as there’s the usual tremolo riffing, furious brimstone-scented melodies and utterly blasting drumming that creates a veritable swarm of traditional black metal on display in ‘Aeonik Devotion’ or ‘Prana of the Drakon’, serving as a great set-up to the uniquely enjoyable inclusion of localized tribal influences here. Many of the shorter interludes here uses this kind of tribal drumming and industrial noise collages to set up the upcoming track, frequently utilized in ‘Resonance’ and ‘Phosphire’ which comes up every time here to set-up the next track which is a cool idea in principle but wears itself out when the idea of getting in tune with the release is instead shelved due to stopping the momentum in order to get to another set-up track for the song after it. This is a highly disappointing effect with the four true songs on here appearing so enjoyable that it does seem to ruin the energy built up here and really comes off with the idea that it should’ve been just one or two in select places rather than doing it for all the tracks.

Though this one tends to rely quite a bit on the nature of featuring interludes for the main set-up here rather than letting the traditional songs seep through for it’s enjoyment, there’s still more than enough engaging black metal to satisfy fans of the style or those simply curious how it’ll appear when sprung forth from non-conventional arenas. 7.5/10

Written by Don Anelli

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