Dec 122023

Before the first notes are heard, Feral Forms‘ debut EP Premalignant ought to grab attention quickly among gnarly denizens of the metal underground. There’s the “for fans of” recommendation by the labels who are releasing it: Angelcorpse, Teitanblood, Diocletian, Black Curse.

And then there’s the fact that this Italian quartet features current and former members of The Secret, Grime, Claustrum, and Fierce.

And then there’s that cover art, staring you in the face with those bulging eyes, dissolving face, and strange forehead cavities.

Now that they (and we) have your attention, it’s time to launch the music, though we must say that the EP’s title is either misleading or just plain scary: If this EP’s music is “premalignant”, it’s frightening to think what Feral Forms might do if they decided to channel fully emergent malignancy.

We’ll turn first to the PR materials’ livid verbiage as an initial warning of what’s coming. They refer to “a new level of tonal corruption, with tension-inducing stop/start angularity and a devouring thrust that would almost sound punk if it wasn’t so molten and creepy”. They further announce that “telluric drums and barbaric riffing collide, resulting in a putrid destructive mass of volcanic low end that incinerates everything in its path”.

Now for our own livid verbiage:

Hunter of Chaos” opens the EP by hurling listeners into a maelstrom of plundering drums, subterranean bass-lines you can feel in your bone marrow, screaming vocals, eerily flickering leads, and a moving mass of scathing, shrieking riffage that rabidly roils, ruthlessly slashes, and convulses in agony.

As the song moves forward it segues from sounds of maniacal violence to sounds of dismal depredation, anchored by the kind of pulverizing low-end blows that seem capable of mangling iron.

Feral Forms show no more mercy with the title track. The drums come and go without warning. The bass rumbles and heaves. The screams spray blood. The guitars screech and wail. Altogether they create a hideous hallucination, but with a quick snare count-off the music again becomes rampantly punishing and spins up into wild vortices of massed guitar abrasion and rhythmic destruction.

Quick starts and stops, unhinged drum-fills, feverish bass spasms, and blood-congealing chords will keep listeners on their toes, even if cowering in fear.

And too soon, the EP concludes with “Voice from the Altar“, which if anything is even more monstrous, marauding, and abysmal than the first two tracks. Diseased fretwork paroxysms trade places with ghastly moaning and whining arpeggios and crashing chords.

The rhythm section bound about, blast, and pummel. High above, a guitar wails like a tortured ghost. As with the other two tracks, this one ends with shrill flickering tones which further define the unearthly death zone where the music thrives.

Yes, this ends too soon. The EP is a hideous, ruinous, but thoroughly exhilarating black/death spectacle, ferocious and horrific war metal to be sure but written with a fiendish flair and produced in a way that makes the sonic ingredients piercing as well as mauling. It leaves us hungry for more of these Feral Forms, and soon we hope.



Federico – Vocals
Ciro – Guitar
Paolo – Bass
Christian – Drums

Premalignant will be released by Night Terrors Records and Filth Junkies on MC and digital formats on December 15th. The EP was mixed and mastered by Gabriele Gramaglia (Cosmic Putrefaction).

For more info about the release and how to get it, inspect the locations linked below.




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