Forming the Void open the split with a single six and a half minutes of pleasant and personable modern progressive stoner metal.
The track – To the Wolves – is sufficiently weighty to cause a lot of rumbling, and has good, memorable songwriting in abundance. It’s a very enjoyable and well-written song; as my introduction to Forming the Void, it has definitely caused me to pay attention to their existence.
The singer’s voice is smoothly melodic, and he sings like he’s endowed with genuine presence and charisma, which he clearly is. He’s certainly a highlight here, but the strength of To the Wolves means that he’s only one of many.
Although this track will undoubtedly receive some comparisons to Mastodon, this is only actually part of what Forming the Void offer. This song definitely has bucketfuls of personality all of its own, and is more than enough to get me quite excited about the prospect of their upcoming new album.
Pyreship take a slower, longer, more post-metal approach to their music, with the 9-minute Wraith’s Tide. Taking a contemporary progressive approach to the style’s much-used and very effective build/release mechanic, Wraith’s Tide is an extremely enjoyable slow burner of a song.
In much the same way that Mastodon are a clear influence on Forming the Void, Pyreship owe an obvious debt to Isis. Once again though, this is only a starting point for Pyreship’s sound, and the band have more than enough personality and presence of their own to make Wraith’s Tide a compelling and textured piece of post-metal work.
There are no vocals until two thirds of the way through, leaving the music to tell the tale for most of the song’s journey. When they do briefly appear, they’re used as just another instrument, adding some brief emotive highlights to the soundscape that the band have carefully crafted over its playing time.
Different, but complementary, this is a quality split release between two quality bands.
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