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Furze: Reaper Subconscious Guide

Norway, the land of all things dark and satanic, a country that is renowned for its top flight Black Metal bands. Here we see the release of Furze' fourth album Reaper Subconscious Guide. Furze have taken an Avant Garde approach incorporating elements of Black / Doom Metal reminiscent of how early Celtic Frost approached their music, having a heavy Black Sabbath vibe, which is no surprise really as this is a sincere 40th anniversary birthday card to Sabbath. Furze makes no pretentions about the fact that if Sabbath hadn't existed Furze wouldn't have existed either. This is nothing more than an excellent homage to the awesome classic rock band, who have influenced so many.

Furze may not have the total creative force of Black Sabbath but this is an album I am digging… seriously digging. This is the way to record an album, succinct, to the point, retro 70's sound, which makes the whole gesture worthwhile. What really makes it even more impressive is that has been created by one man

From the opener "Earlier Than The Third Might Of The Cosmos" Furze really uses that Sabbath tone to great effect, chugging repeating guitar riffs, powerful drumming and strong bass, all mixed up in the creative musical box. Even when he moves into the faster paced "It Leads" he still performs with grace with his off kilter time changes and atmospheric lyrics, a path that has been used on "Immortal Lecture" and "The Bonedrum" also. For me the money shot is the album closer "Essential Wait", the sound quality really fills the air igniting it with power, being the outstanding track. This track alone incorporates all the sounds that makes this album what it is, having been put together like a jigsaw, being a very fitting closing track

There would appear to be mistakes within the drumming structure throughout, making the music sound jarred in places, which I feel has been done intentionally to add effect, as usually music from this location / genre, is renowned for its precision and technicality, where this cleverly would appear to take a more simplistic approach on the initial listen, but to be honest, this really adds to the whole effect. I believe the essence of this album is all about creating sonics, experimenting with sound.

Digital format has its place in the world of the clean and concise, but hail to analogue for that dirty Rock 'n' Roll sound. Do yourself a favour and get a copy of this; you won't be disappointed, as this is a rather unique album. Woe J. Reaper I tip my hat to you.

1 Earlier Than The Third Might Of The Cosmos
2 It Leads
3 Immortal Lecture
4 The Bonedrum
5 Essential Wait

Added: April 18th 2011
Reviewer: John OBoyle
Related Link: Agonia Records
Hits: 1738
Language: english

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Furze: Reaper Subconscious Guide
Posted by Denis Brunelle, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-04-18 19:18:48
My Score:

Furze is a Norwegian act active since 1996. Brainchild of Woe J Reaper, they have a few releases, including three full length. According to their label, Furze is a well-respected black metal band.

When you listen to Reaper Subconscious Guide, the black metal is not what comes to mind. On the sleeve of the promo, it is written a note regarding Black Sabbath and their influence in dark music. Well, this is directly where their inspiration was taken. This is definitely a doom metal album with a 70's feel, mixed with a little psychedelic edge. The production could have been better, since it has a demo sound. The musicianship is not bad, but the songwriting lacks maturity, especially in the first couple of tracks. The clean vocals also need to be worked on. They are nasal and lack seriousness. On the other hand, the harsher ones are wicked and much more appropriate to the musical direction. At first what appeared as some repetitive and un-interesting run-of- the mill doom metal, takes a more interesting turn in the last three compositions. The lengthy songs have mid tempos and are guitar driven. Distorted riffs, sometimes crushing, are backed by arpeggios and leads. Frequent musical breaks are allowing more harmonies to sink in, while giving a break from the clean vocals. The drumming is a times a bit awkward, notably in the more complex parts. Then again, those are not frequent. Then, the drummer makes use of a gong, which is cool and some little bells. These ones have a tendency to sound too bright in more than a few occasions. My overall favorite composition is "The Bonedrum". Runner ups would be: "Immortal Lecture" and the epic (12:43 mins) closing track, "Essential Wait".

Reaper of Subconscious Guide does have its moments, without being a memorable piece of doom.

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