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Furnace - Stellarum Award winner

by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 03 August 2022, 1:26 PM

There are musicians that needs to express their ideas in forms that aren’t allowed in their main bands, so they need to work on side projects or other bands to feel refreshed on their ideas (one can’t understand, but some ideas are so good to be left for the dead, but can’t be used in the main band for endless reasons). As everyone in the Death Metal scene already knows, Rogga Johansson plays on MASSACRE and PAGANIZER (and many others), and Peter Svensson is known for works with ASSASSIN’S BLADE and VOID MOON. So FURNACE should be in a different way from their other works, shouldn’t it? A good question that “Stellarum” can answer.

One can say it’s a Melodic Death Metal album, but it’s not the whole truth. It’s a Heavy/Melodic Death Metal album, because the classic melodies inherited of Hard Rock and NWOBHM are extremely clear in the band’s music, and even some Heavy/Power Metal arrangements can be heard as well. It’s a different approach, and it really sounds good and catching to the ears, full of a different energy that can make people think of how IRON MAIDEN would like if the band would play Death Metal, or if the first generation Melodic Death Metal acts would be if they could play in a more melodic way. It’s really a very good surprise, so dive into it, now! The production of “Stellarum” was done in a way to make things have that crude and nasty ambience of Death Metal, but with the defined tunes to make the melodies clear for the listeners. Of course, something better would fit better on the band’s music, but’s not a loss; it’s good, but could be better.

All the songs are really excellent and will have an appeal for the fans, especially the abrasive “Brother J” (when the melodies arise in the middle of the oppressive musicality of the band is really something unexpected, and what very good work on bass guitar and drums), “Watching Your Dreams Go By” (some arrangements are inherited of HELLOWEEN and IRON MAIDEN, especially during some lead guitars, but the snarls and grunts of the vocals are really very good), “Under the Command of Captain Shaw” and “New Eden” (many melodic hooks arise on both songs, with some climatic parts that are really lovely),  “Merging with the Dark” and “Manifestations” (both are examples of Power/Death Metal songs, plenty of very good guitars arrangements and themes), and “Mission Report 80-096-02” (the clear melodies and arrangements inherited from Hard Rock acts as KISS can be felt by anyone). But the entire album is really excellent.

“Stellarum” really has the brand of a ‘third album’ (that folkloric idea that the third album is its finest moment), and FURNACE is really a great band to hear without becoming boring.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Brother J
2. Watching Your Dreams Go By
3. Starbound Stowaway
4. Under the Command of Captain Shaw
5. New Eden
6. Merging with the Dark
7. Manifestations
8. Man Reborn
9. A World Beyond the Void
10. Mission Report 80-096-02
Rogga Johansson - Guitars, Vocals
Peter Svensson - Bass, Backing Vocals
Lars Demoké - Drums
Record Label: MDD Records


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