Review: Kvaen – The Formless Fires


The Formless Fires

Metal Blade Records

Full-blooded black metal with epic production and shredding lead guitar, this is a brilliantly arranged take on the genre with lashings of flair and precision. The opening title track, ‘The Formless Fire,’ sets the scene, and we strap in for a journey into fantastical tales of darkness and foreboding. The guitar play is the first thing that strikes you here, and it’s reminiscent of Dimmu Borgir’s delivery, but underpinning the whole thing is a thundering, tight rhythm section that’s lean and razor-sharp. The vocal here is coarse and full-bodied and compliments everything perfectly. In fact, that is what I’d say in general about this album, not a hair is out of place! Its immaculate (for a black metal album) ‘Tornets Sang’ offers a mid-tempo chunky headbanger and a significant change of pace, definitely a fist-in-the-air track with shades of power metal creeping in. ‘The Ancient Gods’ is as epic as a track with that title should be, with progressive soaring leads and intricate rhythms. By the time we get to ‘Wings Of Death’s’ conclusion, we have been to the depths of hell and back and have slayed many a beast, or at least it feels like we have. The album is glorious, blackened escapism at its most epic. Highly recommended for those who like to suspend disbelief.

Review By George Miller