Hot off the Press

Furyon | Gravitas

by Mark Allen
Staff Writer —

Furyon was born from the ashes of the melodic rock band Pride, but anyone expecting a similar sound will be more pissed than a polecat receiving a pepper spray enema. While still maintaining a melodic edge, this is more modern, intense, and heavier. The band strives to bridge the gap between classic melodic rock and contemporary metal. Of course, “strives” and “succeeds” are not the same things…

Failure insinuated, let’s focus for a moment on what works. First and foremost, the guitar tone is fantastic; a six-string beast with the kind of muscle that just slams your ears. This is not created solely by studio sorcery either; these axe-slingers can really play, as evidenced by the sharp solos and sizzling licks that slither through the sonic landscape. In keeping with modern trends, the sound is very bass-centric and you can feel the thunderous grooves deep in your bones, shaking up your marrow like a blender set on “Pulverize.” Matching the bass blow for blow are the drums which pack a wicked wallop, keeping the beat like a bully doing the face-punch fiesta on the playground weakling. Vocalist Matt Mitchell headlines it all with professional skill and frontman machismo and displays great range while doing so. He and his band mates are better than the material deserves.

Well, most of the material anyway. There are a couple of standout tracks, but they are crushed and subdued by the other songs on the album that are either too long, too boring, or more often than not, both. The band is also hamstrung like a wolf-slashed elk by their desire to be too many things to too many people. One minute they’re cranking out crunchy hard rock, the next they’re unleashing heavy metal. One moment the songs are melodious, the next they’re dark and grungy. One second they sound retro, the next they sound modern as anything on mainstream radio. Trying to invest in an album of this nature is as tough as dating a schizophrenic chick who refuses to take her medication.

Helping about as much as a can of kerosene helps put out a forest fire is the fact that Furyon fails to grasp the concept of album flow, mixing commercial-friendly four-minute songs with tracks that drag on seven or eight minutes. This just doesn’t work. Not for Furyon, not for any band. Prog-metal fans might enjoy the long-running epics but will be annoyed by the hard rock anthems, and vice versa. Forcing listeners to hit the Skip button again and again in order to find a song that suits their style preferences is not likely to generate good will.

It is criminal that the band opens with one of its best tracks, “Disappear Again,” raising expectations with its heavily melodic punch and soaring chorus, only to spend the rest of the album sending those expectations plunging into the abyss. While there are a few other okay tracks, the only one that rivals this opener is “Voodoo Me,” which comes out of the gate like a thoroughbred with its tail ablaze and hurtles along on the strength of snarled vocals, throbbing bass, pounding guitars, and a hook-and-harmony drenched sing-along chorus. More tunes like these two and Gravitas would have been a classic, but instead we get throwaway fillers (“Stand Like Stone”), impatience-inducing snoozers (“Fear Alone”), and a ballad that leaves you begging for it to be over (“Our Peace Someday”).

Furyon have got what it takes to be a contender in both the melodic metal and the modern metal markets. Unfortunately, this album does not. This is one of those cases where the whole is less than the sum of its parts. Criticism of this album is warranted; however, dismissal of this band is not. Expect Furyon’s next effort to give the rock/metal world a serious kick in the ass. There is no doubt they have a killer album inside them; they just need to find a way to bring it out.

Genre: Metal

Matt Mitchell (vocals)
Chris Green (guitars)
Pat Heath (guitars)
Alex Bowen (bass)
Lee Farmery (drums)

Track Listing
1. Disappear Again
2. Stand Like Stone
3. Souvenirs
4. Don’t Follow
5. New Way of Living
6. Voodoo Me
7. Fear Alone
8. Wasted on You
9. Our Peace Someday
10. Desert Suicide
11. Voodoo Me (acoustic)
12. Souvenirs (acoustic)


Label: Frontiers Records

Hardrock Haven rating: 6/10


1 Comment on Furyon | Gravitas

  1. What are you talking about – the longer tracks rock just as hard as the short ones. And there are actually people out there that listen to both hard rock and prog, and lots of other genres too. This album isn’t boring – not for a second.
    Genres and styles are meant to be crossed, otherwise you just get more of the same, and THAT’s boring.

Comments are closed.