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The Forms

This is an interesting release in more ways than one. For one, the packaging and presentation is immaculate. The CD comes housed in a fancy glossy digipack with nice industrial photos of the underside of a turnpike glistening in the morning sun. The CD also contains an interactive section in which said photos are dissected into pieces and you're able to view them up close. Although it really doesn't offer much more than closer viewing of different details, it's aesthetically pleasing and enhances the mood a bit.

It's because of all this that I was somewhat thrown off by the CD itself. 7 songs span 10 tracks which total 18 minutes of listening time. At first, I thought my CD player had read the data wrong, but it was indeed correct. This is one short release, and while it definitely contains moments of musical bliss, it feels a bit too fragmented to work as much more than a glimpse. Opening with the two-part track "Stel," the group rocks into huge riffs and time signature changes for about two minutes with alternately screamed and sung vocals (split into two tracks), calling to mind a heady mixture of Sunny Day Real Estate and Slint.

The two-part "Innizar" picks up where the first tracks left off, and after another quiet interlude, breaks into some juicy riffing mixed with some dramatic dynamic changes and more of the mixed vocals. It's part emo, part math rock, and part ambience. Because of the way the songs are constructed and the way the album flows in such a quick time, the entire release sort of feels like one long track in which angles are explored and contracted, then branched out again in different directions.

As mentioned above, the release ends far too quickly, but the group kicks out some really great moments along the way. Even tracks that are a fairly standard length (like the 3 and a half minute "Classical"), change course several different times, never quite leaving you knowing where the album is going to go next. Whereas some groups in the same genre are criticized for treading the same riffs over and over, The Forms move in the opposite direction in that they hardly allow anything enough time to sink in. It's an interesting release that benefits from repeated listens, but it also leaves you wishing there was a bit more substance to go with the style.

Rating: 6.5