Furnace – Dark Vistas

It isn’t very often that a group cranks out two full length albums in the same year, and usually when they do they risk a rushed, re hashed release that listeners do not receive too well. However, with Sweden’s death metal group, Furnace, the band does things right and makes it by with two decent sounding full lengths for the year 2020. The group’s debut “Black Stone Church” was released in late June, and “Dark Vistas” is their second album set for October and it expands on their rather melodic take for death metal. If one were to combine the early works of Rotting Christ with the more contemporary sound of the late 90s death metal such as groups like Vital Remains or hints of gothic metal from the likes of Paradise Lost, that would pretty much sum up Furnace’s sound. It is heavy, but also beautiful at the same time, so those looking for a mix of melo death and old school death metal might find this quite a listen.

There is a good heaping 45 minutes of music here so plenty to soak up. Many tracks like ‘Suburban Nightmare’ and ‘Eve Of Triumph’ are mid paced chuggers broken up by dark, doomy solos with a mix of gritty growls and haunting backing chants, which help add atmosphere to the music. A lot of the riffs used are repetitive, but melodic, and one can really hear the hints of Rotting Christ in them from the likes of albums such as “Triarchy Of The Lost Lovers”. The only thing that really separates the two bands is no use of keyboards for Furnace, but their guitar work is haunting enough it could very well sound like keyboards, especially on a track like ‘From The Blackest Void’. For those looking for faster and heavier tracks, ’94 Bloch Lane’ has a catchy rhythm to it with little room for peace, and even has a bit of a thrashy tone to it with its memorable chorus. Other tracks like ‘Yog-Sothoth’ still feature great guitar melodies but don’t have those quiet, doomy Incantation pauses like many of the other tracks save for the end.

For new listeners, “Dark Vistas” may have a very similar track formula as the album goes on, but for someone looking for a break from the 90s Deicide, Cannibal Corpse, or Six Feet Under imitators out there, then Furnace is a step in the right direction for death metal that isn’t quite melo death, but takes a lot of cues from gothic and black metal to get its melodies in there without losing the raw edge by adding keyboards. The production is a bit fuzzy to keep that old school vibe- especially with the vocals- and helps with the dark, mystical atmosphere of the album, When considering the group’s extensive experience with other acts such as Bloodgut and Eye Of Purgatory, it seems these guys have had a lot of time to figure out how to make 3 people sound like 5 and add more dynamics to their music with limited instruments. It is a dark, crushing journey that doesn’t quite depress like doom metal, but seeps with an oddly uplifting melancholy.

3.5 / 5 STARS 

Reviewer: Colin McNamara

Oct 10, 2020

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Furnace – Dark Vistas

review Furnace - Dark Vistas

1. Suburban Nightmare
2. The Other Ones
3. The Calling
4. Yog-Sothoth (The Key And The Gateway)
5. 94 Bloch Lane
6. Trapped
7. A Journey Through Dark Vistas
8. Escape
9. From The Blackest Void
10. Eve Of Triumph
11. Another Ending

3.5

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