Review by Vladimir on March 1, 2023.
Formis is a polish death/thrash metal band which hails from Sosnowiec, Silesia, and they have a new album on their catalog titled Pogromca, released on June 24th 2022 via Defense Records. This marks their official fourth full-length album release, which came out 5 years after their previous album Chaozium.
The album starts with an intro track 'Zmierzch', which is a 32 second instrumental track with violins that towards the end goes right into the second track 'Gargulec'. The second track starts with thrash metal riffs, reverse drumming and guttural singing that shift to somewhat clean distorted singing vocals, while the drums also switch into blast beats for a second before going back to the deathrashing style. When paying closer attention to each songs thrashing riffs and double-bass drum work with occasional blast beats, I noticed that their music has a somewhat modern Kreator style to it, although with obvious differences being the fact that everything is sang in Polish language and the main vocal style, which changes between guttural and clean distorted vocals. I am still struggling if I should consider Formis to be death/thrash metal or thrash/death metal, since riffs and the drums lean mostly on the thrash metal side, whereas the vocals have guttural singing and might be the only death metal side, but a lot of songs still have those cleaner distorted vocals that lean more on the thrash metal side. You can make of it what you will, but in my personal opinion, I say that there is far more thrash metal to be found in their music with just that slight instance of death metal that manages to squeeze in. As for the overall impression of this album, I don’t know what to make of it. On one hand, I think it’s with very tight and aggressive songwriting although solid at best, but on the other hand, the songs are far too similar in style and hardly deviate from one another. I don’t mind so much the vocal style but the main problem is just the riffs being hardly memorable and really nothing stands out from any song. The album has a very modern high-quality sound production, which I must admit is really overproduced for my personal taste. The guitars and drums are just too sterile in the album’s mix, even the drums are pushed forward to the point that they completely bury the guitars during blast beats and double-bass work.
I know what you’re thinking, you’re probably saying that I sound like I am nitpicking too much and that I am harshly criticizing the band’s work where so much effort and budget was invested to make this stand out the best it could. Let me remind you that “style over substance” is a big issue with modern day metal bands which spend more time and money on a very sterile production rather than focusing on good songwriting which is why we love music in the first place. This sort of approach has always put me off with many newer death and thrash metal bands I come across and it certainly isn’t going to win me over anytime soon, especially not with lowkey songwriting where very average riffs are just constantly thrown in your face. As for the album, I wish I could say that I was pleased to some extent, but I am sadly very disappointed and I just can’t think of anything better to say about this that I haven’t already addressed.
Rating: 5.7 out of 10221