FURZE – Reaper Subconscious Guide

FURZE – Reaper Subconscious Guide

Just when it seemed like Black Metal was finally running out of alternatives, along comes the fourth full-length album from Furze to prove that there are still plenty of options available to songwriters and musicians who are willing to think outside the box and try something new.

Eschewing the paths laid down by his Norwegian countrymen, single member Woe J. Reaper decides to go back to the beginning and reformulate his own type of proto black metal. Think pared back retro in the style of Pentagram or early Black Sabbath, only sicker and more twisted. The vocals are clean, but have a languid, unhinged quality that reminds one of a ghoul crooning at the cellar door. High pitched chimes add to the feeling of a horror movie gone wrong, with the often punky riffing reminding me at times of Rudimentary Peni.

Parts of this album really are excellent (check out track two "It Leads"), while other tracks drag a little and allow one to lose interest (the greatest culprit is final track "Essential Wait"). There are going to be plenty who love this album, while an equal number will want to fling it out the window of a moving train. There are those who, like me, will have both of those reactions simultaneously.

"Reaper Subconscious Guide" is at times brilliant, accessible and engaging, yet at other times challenging and tedious. I’m afraid you’ll have to decide for yourself which of these things it is for you.