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Formless


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 19, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Season of Mist
  • ASIN: B000OLHGAW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,354 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Lotus
2. Atmas Heave
3. Moksha
4. Open Close the Book
5. Garuda
6. Dual Alchemy
7. Dime
8. 1316
9. Fade
10. Skinned
11. Mahayana
12. Formless
13. Purification

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
The style is very technical and atmospheric, yet quite varied in sound and technique.
tacomaboy
On "Atmas Heave", a piece filled with crushing riffage, there is a great slap bass section to complement the crunch of the double bass drumming.
Murat Batmaz
I really can't emphasize enough how fresh and original this album will be for any fan of prog rock/metal or progressive music in general.
Joel Israel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Eric J. Lynch on January 5, 2007
Format: Audio CD
For those who loved Aghora's self title, this disc is enough in the same vein of progressive, highly technical, jazz influenced, beautiful, progressive metal to demand your immediate purchase. If, however, you did NOT enjoy the first Aghora, or have not heard it, you must still give this a chance! Read on:

'Formless' has more appeal than the first disc to your average metal fan. The guitars are more in the forefront of the music; it is metal first and jazz etc. second. The riffs have plenty of crunch, the attack of the strings is satisfyingly heavy. The solos are gorgeous and ridiculously impressive - I'm pretty sure Dobles uses sweep-picking.

The rhythm guitar has enough time changes and complexity to interest Meshuggah fans, enough classic/thrash metal riffs and triplets to attract Iced Earth fans, enough progressive speed-metal influence to raise an eyebrow of a Symphony X fan, and enough melody and variation to catch the ear of an Opeth fan (but I'm not saying Aghora sound anything like these bands - there are only elements of similarity. So don't buy this expecting the sound one of your favorite bands - Aghora are unique).

Drums duties on this album are split between Giann Rubio and former drummer Sean Reinert. There is plenty of double bass, cymbal work, jazz-like snare work, and a healthy dose of nicely executed tom fills, with appropriate speed and precision. A very tight rythym section. Don't skip this album just because Sean Malone is not on it!

The vocals are stunning. I don't usually care for female vocals in my metal, but this vocalist is perfect for the job. Much less operatic than the former singer, Diana Serra adds to the music in subtly appropriate ways. She has a very full sound and makes great use of her vocal range.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By tacomaboy on December 30, 2006
Format: Audio CD
If this music does not set you ablaze with excitement and simultaneously leave you paralyzed; in awe of its majesty - then you have quite possibly been numbed by the mainstream music industry. Open your eyes and ears - behold this work of art because 'Formless' is a masterpiece!

First of all, Santiago Dobles is a legend on the guitar and is also the musical genius/songwriter of Aghora. The style is very technical and atmospheric, yet quite varied in sound and technique. The album contains middle-eastern strings, jazz influence, spanish flamenco (courtesy of Rolando Grooscors), and a plethora of progressive metal riffs. In fact, minus the guest flamenco strings, all the guitar work on this album was performed by Dobles himself! While extremely progressive and innovative, the early thrash influence is evident and composed perfectly. The tone of the rhythm guitar is excellent, the solos are sweeping and melodic - sometimes almost euphoric, and the drumming is superb! The songs are beautifully unpredictable, blending different styles together in the same song, changing from mellow to heavy within the same breath, and full of rad time-signature changes.

Although the vocalist was trained in opera, the vocals on this album do not have a overpowering operatic feel at all - in fact, Diana's voice blends perfectly into the mood and flow of each song. Much of her singing is done on a lower scale than the vocalist who sang on Aghora's self-titled album, yet she fluctuates her voice quite frequently to accomodate the complexity of the instruments. On songs like 'Moksha' and 'Mahayana' she delivers a powerful middle-eastern style vocal arrangement.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joel Israel on April 15, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Aghora's first album, along with Cynic's "Focus", was a fascinating and original release in the metal world- intelligent and extremely progressive metal featuring hauntingly beautiful female vocals, a philosophical and spiritual Buddhist lyrical ideology, and exotic and virtuosic guitar and percussion from some of the most avant-garde musicians in metal. Years have gone by, and suddenly a new release from Aghora arrives, far surpassing either of these former milestones in the progressive genre.

I really can't emphasize enough how fresh and original this album will be for any fan of prog rock/metal or progressive music in general. I have heard many amazing prog albums over the years, but this disc is just so unusual in so many ways that it really stands out in the crowd. A complex, flowing and seductive torrent of hypnotic and intricate middle eastern percussion, beautiful operatic vocals, sitar and flamenco-style guitar, heavy and progressive metal riffs and rhythms which overlap and morph constantly into something else. It's consistently engaging, original, and epic....a truly singular and beautiful experience that is not to be missed. Hats off to the band for such a well-produced and packaged self-released album....great production, artwork and packaging that is better than many major label releases I've seen. A rare example of unwavering artistic freedom.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Murat Batmaz on February 18, 2007
Format: Audio CD
It has been six years since Aghora released their eponymous debut. It seemed whenever Formless was about to come out, something else got in the band's way, and with numerous line-up changes, including the replacement of original singer Danishta Rivero with Diana Serra, the band have finally completed their sophomore album Formless, which, in many ways, matches (or even surpasses) the brilliance of their first effort.

It is true that original bassist Sean Malone of Cynic and Gordian Knot fame does not appear on this disc. Without doubt, Malone was the reason why so many fans, including myself, discovered Aghora, but worry not, new member Alan Goldstein has done a phenomenal job on this record. He plays both fretted and fretless bass, and is featured in some of the most key moments on the album. On "Atmas Heave", a piece filled with crushing riffage, there is a great slap bass section to complement the crunch of the double bass drumming. Santiago Dobles' guitar playing is insanely wicked, particularly his sweep picking and unusual chord progressions. Likewise, Goldstein totally shines on "Dual Alchemy", a song that allows him to lay down a killer fretless solo following a busy yet equally melodic guitar solo. Dina Serra's vocal melody is infectiously catchy whilst Sean Reinert recalls his days in Death with those incessant kick drums. I just love the vast, spacious Middle Eastern elements this track is decorated with.

Aghora's approach to the vocals have taken a completely new turn. The vocal tracking (done by none other than the great Neil Kernon) is simply awe-inspiring. Serra is a very young talent, and they've made great use of effects this time around, with cool layerings and dual harmonies happening in the background.
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