Hailing from Brighton, Furyon have been gaining much critical acclaim since 2009 throughout the UK and beyond and we’re finally about to see why with the release of their debut album, Gravitas, at the tail end of March.
I love albums that start with a bang and right from the off the opener, “Disappear Again”, comes roaring in with huge fist pumping riffage that sets the tone perfectly for what to expect of this tremendous debut from Furyon. They bring to mind pieces of Nickelback in their heavier tracks, Puddle of Mudd and even in some places the harmonies vocally of Def Leppard.
But don’t for one second let me paint a picture of a cookie cutter copy of some of those commercial US and UK heavy weights. These guys could go toe to toe with the best from what is a superbly produced and well-rounded debut album. There’s a little bit of everything in here for those of us who like their metal heavy and commercially tinged.
After the power of “Disappear Again” we’re thrown into a pounding “Stand Like Stone” that starts to show the versatility of these guys both musically and vocally. Matt Mitchell brings to mind guys like Joe Elliott, Chad Kroeger and at times Jon Oliva of Savatage. The man has indeed got a fantastic range and power and is a joy to listen to. There’s also some tremendous work guitar wise from Chris Green and Pat Heath not just in this track but across the whole album with some widdly-widdlyesque (is that even a word? who cares, it describes it best I reckon) soloing that brings to mind Dream Theater and Dave Murray.
You can see some of their progressive roots shine through in the gargantuan eight and a half minute “Souvenirs” that has just about everything you could want from a song and more. Gotta say that it’s pretty damn ballsy of them to serve up a song of this magnitude so early in the album but I loved every minute of it. You do worry though if they can lift the album any further after such a track…
…but fear not, the dirty and skanky riffed “Don’t Follow” pulls us back in with some short, sharp and ballsy stuff coupled with a great sing along chorus that you know would once again have a crowd bouncing when played live. It’s a similar theme with “Voodoo Me” that follows in its steps after we’re given a chance to breathe and mellow out with the monstrous “New Way of Living”, a huge power ballad that brings to mind guitarists posing on wind strewn mountain tops! I’ve got to make a point at this moment to mention the bonus version of not just “Voodoo Me” but also “Souvenirs” which come over as great bluesy rock numbers when done in this acoustic manner. If you can, get a version of the album with these on them as they deserve to be released in their own right they are THAT good.
So, where are we up to? Four more tracks to bend my ears around. You gotta say that sometimes it’s a joy being a reviewer when this is the quality of music you get to listen to.
“Fear Alone” is atmospherically distant and ethereal in its introduction and calls on something haunting and ghostly as it takes us on yet another journey. It calls to mind Metallica’s “Wherever I May Roam” and Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” at times with a middle eastern flavour but also makes me think of the expansiveness of Dream Theater at times.
Rounding off the album we get the fast paced “Wasted on You” that has some great guitar flourishes throughout supporting Matt Mitchell’s rocking vocals while “Our Peace Someday” hit’s the hands in the air, sweet rock ballad spot. We finally bring the album to a close with another huge track, “Desert Suicide”. It’s a great tribute to the belief that these guys have that they can hold your attention at the very end of their debut album with another eight and a half minute track that follows on from the marker already laid with “Souvenirs. It’s a perfect end to what is nigh on a perfect debut album.
What I’m finding so great about this album is there’s a little bit of everything here. You want fast, you want heavy, you want epic, you want melodic? It’s all here and I keep finding myself coming back to the phrase “fist pumping, foot stomping metal”. Every song makes me want to do just that in varying degrees and all in the name of Furyon. Stunning debut that promises much and delivers on it in big style.
Frontiers Records will be releasing FURYON’s debut album “Gravitas” on March 21st in Japan, March 23rd in Europe and March 27th in North America.
1. Disappear Again
2. Stand Like Stone
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 Bonus)*
12. Souvenirs (Acoustic Bonus)*
* Not available on all releases
Matt Mitchell – Vocals
Chris Green – Guitars
Pat Heath – Guitars
Alex “Nickel” Bowen – Bass
Lee Farmery – Drums