Aghora | Formless

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United States - Florida

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Metal/Punk: Progressive Metal Metal/Punk: Heavy Metal Moods: Mood: Virtuoso
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Formless

by Aghora

Unique Female Fronted Progressive Metal
Genre: Metal/Punk: Progressive Metal
Release Date: 

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1. Lotus
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1:14 $0.99
2. Atmas Heave
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5:10 $0.99
3. Moksha
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5:29 $0.99
4. Open Close the Book
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4:58 $0.99
5. Garuda
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2:53 $0.99
6. Dual Alchemy
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5:36 $0.99
7. Dime
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7:00 $0.99
8. 1316
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5:30 $0.99
9. Fade
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4:40 $0.99
10. Skinned
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6:41 $0.99
11. Mahayana
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7:16 $0.99
12. Formless
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12:31 $0.99
13. Purification
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1:45 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The long awaited sophomore release from this Floridian tech metal band (Featuring Santiago Dobles, Sean Reinert of Cynic/Death, Alan Goldstein, Diana Serra, Giann Rubio). Produced by Santiago Dobles and Neil Kernon. Also mixed by Neil Kernon (Queensyche, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Judas Priest , Nevermore). This release sets the standard for female fronted metal & Progressive Music.

Recent Reviews:

Aghora is UNBELIEVABLE!!! Come into the light!, December 30, 2006
Reviewer: tacomaboy (tacoma, WA) - See all my reviews
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, Dianna'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 vocal arrangement.

Despite a compelling vocal perfomance by Dianna, the majority of the album is done without her singing at all due to the long epic guitar solos and the brilliant instrumental composition entitled 'Dime' - 7 minutes of musical bliss! The production on this album is obviously better than its predecessor, thus creating a clean and balanced sound.

The name Aghora is supposedly a word from ancient Hindu beliefs that referred to fire or light - the band Aghora is like a bright light shining on the sometimes dim and boring music scene, illuminating those who will come out of darkness and into the brilliant light of Aghora.

RECOMMENDATION: Support the band and buy this album

DIFFERENT. BRILLIANT. BETTER., January 5, 2007
Reviewer: Eric J. Lynch "rakeman" (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews

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. I don't find myself preferring instrumental sections the way I do in some other music with female vox.

In short, the songs are superbly crafted and stunningly cohesive. This album is genius - don't miss out!


Reviews


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Murat Batmaz / Sea of Tranquility


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. She steals the show during the most unexpect moments, such as the slightly Tool-like "Open Close the Book", thanks to Sean Reinert's perfect sense of timing, where she inserts huge choruses into the otherwise complex number. Dobles experiments with a plethora of guitar sounds and concludes with yet another killer solo (that sweep picking at the end is gorgeous). However, Serra's finest moment on the album is the dazzling "Skinned", which also features some lyrics from the former vocalist. This is one of their most diverse cuts, as the band plows through a Latin-flavoured guitar theme to another superb bass lead and climaxes with more Tool-inspired riffery where Serra sounds like a female version of Maynard Keenan (which is a great thing), but that's where the similarities end, as Santiago Dobles feeds the song with innumerable threads of elements: his vibrato tone is terrific as is the curious ending of the song. (Click link above to real full review...)

Kai "It´s me!" Massmig

Wow, songs are great !
I didn´t like Aghoras debut that much, because songwriting was sometimes pointless. But on this, they actually found themselves and built some solid, heavy-structured tracks with strong vocal melody lines, that must be heard to be believed. There is much love in this album. Everyone did a great job and for me it´s one of the few suprises a long-forgotten metal territory has to offer. thanks

Boeing666

Amazing
Unbelievable. Picture Dream Theater with female vocals, mixed in with Rush, Tool and The Police Elements. Then throw in some highspeed double kick drum action and thrashy parts and you have the perfect CD, which is this one. Awesome guitar solos - Santiago can really shred. I have been a fan of Sean Reinhart since his days in Cynic, and the new drummer also is very good and sounds like he took lessons from Reinhart, or at least heavilly influenced because the only way I know which drummer is playing what by checking the CD. The bass player sounds very jazz trained. The singer, though young is very good and has potential to be the next Cristina Scabbia.

Stuart Allie

Fantastic
Really great female-fronted prog. Terrific musicianship by all players, lush vocals, great production. Melodic but heavy. Intricate and passionate. Intense and soulful. Great work; a most enjoyable album to listen to in its entirety.