Brooding melodeath with a Gothic flair that never dulls the album’s serrated riffs. Infected with Lovecraftian lore and cosmic horror. With its B&W cover illustration and tentacled menace, Furnace‘s Dark Vistas looks like a demo unearthed from the early ’90s. But once you press play, Furnace’s second release of the pandemic year is a self-assured ode to seminal death/doom. What if Katatonia and the Peaceville Three retained their death metal harshness as they embraced goth rock and post-punk sensibilities? It might sound like Furnace’s captivating concept album, Dark Vistas. Decibel Magazine has heaved sacrificial offerings into the abyss to secure access to the record ahead of its October 9th release from Soulseller Records.
Despite the comparisons above, Furnace isn’t even close to being a parasite sucking the blood from genre pioneers. From the first midnight melodies of “Suburban Nightmare,” Dark Vistas has a cinematic swagger all its own. Lars Demoké’s drums largely opt for rock beats that anchor the heft of each song. Instead of leaning towards the introspective heartache of mid-’90s downcast death/doom, the album snarls instead of succumbing to solemnity. Frontman Rogga Johansson’s riffs and growls would rather open a portal and welcome interdimensional terrors than weep into a funeral shroud.
The record bursts with inspired textures that pair dreary atmospheres with the snarling fangs of death metal. There are the gang shouts from bassist Peter Svensson punctuating “The Other Ones” and “Trapped.” The contagious chorus of “94 Bloch Lane” lures listeners in before blindsiding them with feral guitar licks. The record is bookended beautifully with a melody that could lure The Great Old Ones from slumber. Step through a cosmic gateway and experience Dark Vistas all the way through “Another Ending.”
Listen to Swedish death from the blackest void by streaming Dark Vistas below. Press play and surrender to the album’s Lovecraftian grip NOW.