Furyon: Gravitas

You can hear great things about a band as the promotion wagon behind starts its mighty trail enticing the eyes of the world but until you finally get your ears upon the sounds of said band do you obviously find the depth to the truth. With UK rock band Furyon the words written certainly do justice to the band and an album that is deeply impressive and thoroughly uplifting.  Gravitas strikes up the heart with an engaging bounty of rock sounds sourced from their hearts and the world around bringing influences and flavours from across multiple genres. The release is a mighty slab of songs infused with heavy metal, prog, and classic rock as well as some tasty metal touches, all flavours the band from Brighton cut their musical tastes upon.

Having evolved and grown over a few years Furyon entered a studio in Atlanta in 2009 with Platinum selling US Producer Rick Beato (Shinedown, Fozzy and Vince Neil), the result from this vibrant link-up and creative meeting being Gravitas. A limited run of 2000 copies of the album took them to the attention of the likes of Metal Hammer and Classic Rock magazine, each featuring tracks on their over mounted CDs. Two videos followed, one for the subsequent single Disappear Again, each again grabbing more and more eager acclaim and attention, and all the time the band reinforced this tide of recognition with blistering live shows and appearances at the likes of Bloodstock, Hard Rock Hell, Hammerfest, and High Voltage. Now following a management deal with Germany’s Rock N Growl and a link up with Frontiers Records Gravitas gets its full debut and rock music is set to feel a new breath of freshness following through its veins.

Consisting of vocalist Matt Mitchell, guitarists Chris Green and Pat Heath, bass guitarist Alex Bowen and drummer Lee Farmery, Furyon grab the ear from the opening guitar invitations of opener Disappear Again and never releases until it is ready to depart when it chooses. The song epitomises the whole album, infectious, intelligent and unafraid to court the ear with addictive melodies, heavily loaded riffs, and a catchiness which is hard to deny submission to. The song has a sound seemingly melded from the likes of Adrenaline Mob, Alice In Chains and Soundgarden with extra classic rock essences, a mesh that ensures nothing but keen attention going its way.

Following track Stand Like Stone immediately shows the diversity to the band and sound, its heavy tumbling rhythms and formidable metallic riffs thunderous as they burst through the ear. With a groove that beckons like a loose woman the song fills every pore with well crafted melodies and the impressive vocals of Mitchell. In two songs he sets the quality of his tones and delivery high something that never drops throughout the album. The guitars and melodies are quite wanton, eager to excite and thrill, which they do with incredible songwriting skill and realisation.

Songs like the excellent Souvenirs with its lovely deep crusty bass lines, New Way Of Living offering a glorious hard rock/grunge majesty, and the mesmeric Wasted On You, come and go with wonderful quality and the ability to light up the senses. Gravitas is an album despite or rather due to its open diversity and adventure that has a consistency which is refreshing, not once does any of their ideas or surprising avenues fail to connect fully. There is one track that eclipses all though and that is the magnificent Desert Suicide, a song not as obvious as others maybe but one which marks the band already as a mighty addition to rock and gives evidence of what they will yet evolve into. The song meanders in with a mystical and a subdued atmosphere, the guitars slow to reveal themselves fully and the vocals reserved. Soon it evolves into a mighty beast of sound, slowly pacing around the ear before its muscular legs start to run with the senses though it never explodes outright. The song is truly stunning, addictive and unpredictable; the height of invention without indulgence, a stirring animal that remains inside long after the album departs.

Gravitas is an essential investigation for all rock fans; an album that only raises one question. If they sound this great with songs at least two years old how impressive must their new material be? Furyon will be massive, no question so join the ride from the start by grabbing yourself some Gravitas.

RingMaster 19/03/2012

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Firebrand Super Rock – Firebrand Super Rock

As this album came through to be reviewed the feeling and inner groan was not the most positive one has to be honest, nothing against the band who were completely new to these ears and awareness, but the fact this was a classic heavy metal band, a genre that is as appealing here as Bieber singing lullabies outside the window in the dead of night, even the band’s name Firebrand Super Rock hardly inspires enthusiasm.  But wonderfully those thoughts and expectations were thrust firmly where the sun has no access as the Edinburgh quartet and their self titled album proved a thoroughly enjoyable experience. There is still not a conversion to the classic side here but certainly the release reminds one that you can and should never judge until letting sounds play within the ear a few times.

Firebrand Super Rock is not a classic nor does it bring any new ground breaking sounds to the ear but what it does do is deliver songs that eagerly please and tempt the senses whilst being skilfully and impressively varied within its overall rock sound. The core element of their sound comes from NWOBHM but to this there are distinct elements of metal, southern rock, even traces of sludge metal seeping out of the rock textures the band create. This results in songs that ripple with enterprising diversity even if overall the songs are heavy metal hearted. There is more than enough to intrigue and engage even the more adverse attitudes to the genre, yes holding hands up here and admitting this is one rather decent album. 

Since forming in 2004 Firebrand Super Rock have impressed and pulled in strong acclaim and support through constantly gigging their dynamic live show and sharing stages alongside the likes of Slayer, Trivium, Mastodon and Amon Amarth and festival appearances such as Bloodstock Open Air and Hammerfest. The album gives evidence that live the quartet of vocalist Laura Donnelly, guitarist Jamie Gilchrist, bassist Frazer Marr, and Andy Scott on drums, should be one exciting and explosive proposition. Signing with Rising Records this year the new album is the worldwide re-release of their debut and the chance to finally stretch their might far afield.

On Firebrand Super Rock the band are no slouches either, the release stirring and rampant with thundering riffs, incisively cutting melodies and glorious soaring vocals from Donnelly, from opening track ‘River Of The Dead’ the band leap at the ear never letting go until the closing seconds of the triumphant stroll of closer ‘Cleansed By Fire’. Each song offers something different and engaging as well as sumptuous heavy riffage, metallic intensity and razor sharp melodies and solos. ‘Into The Black’ with the impressive bass of Marr dripping dark intent something he blesses the whole album with, ‘Iron Void’ with southern touches bands like Down would be proud of, and the best track on the release ‘Falling Down’ all excite and rile up the heart, the latter especially with its intensive riffs, acidic guitars and energised melodies. 

For someone with a natural aversion to the genre Firebrand Super Rock has done nothing but impress. It will not make the top ten releases or go down as an essential listen here but it is an album that one can easily revisit often and eagerly. For all lovers of classic/heavy metal this is a must check out and though Firebrand Super Rock have yet to truly find their own sound their obvious craft and imagination shows that it will not be long before the band become distinctly unique and their name on most lips.

RingMaster 07/12/2011

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