My first exposure to Furze was through 2003’s Necromanzee Cogent – a delightfully quirky, eerie record that fused elements of psychedelic rock, proto-doom and black metal, all delivered with an atmosphere similar to a wacky Halloween record from the late 70s (spooky ghost howls and all). The record was amazing, and it still stands as an immediate go-to when friends ask “What’s the strangest black metal record you have in your collection?”
Despite the fact Necromanzee Cogent was released three years after 2000’s Trident Autocrat, the material it presented actually predated the work found on the 2000 release. Comparitively, Trident Autocrat strayed a bit from the psychedelic, doomish leanings in favor of a more traditional, flailing black metal attack. Oddities still managed to seep through the walls, but the project now featured a re-acknowledgement of fast, tremolo riffing, hammering drums, and a genuinely more vicious style of delivery, which is exactly where this latest Furze effort picks up.
U.T.D. is divided into two baffling sections. The first four songs fall under “Beneath the Odd-Edge Sounds to the Twilight Contract of the Black Fascist,” and the last four under “The Wealth of the Penetration in the Abstract Paradigmas of Satan.” So there’s that.
The record follows fairly closely in Trident Autocrat‘s footsteps in that we see a swelling of scattered, spastic tremolo riffs and flagellating drum work (Satyricon‘s Frost guests on “A Life About My Sabbath”) that gives a great deal of the material a “swat your arms about your head to scatter angry bees” kind of sense. Things also feel a little looser this time around, particularly with regard to Woe’s schizophrenic style of playing bass, which, at times, sounds as if he’s playing music from an entirely different tune than the rest of the instruments. The slower passages of “Demonic Order in the Eternal Fascist’s Hall,” “Goatbreath” and “Deep in the Pot of Fresh Antipodal Weave,” for example.
U.T.D. is also mixed very…queasily? There are moments where certain guitar licks, bass lines and drum rolls wobble in and out of the spotlight like a drunk swaying in and out of a streetlight looking for a cozy spot to boot. Couple this with the fact most of Woe’s vocals sound like he phoned them in while rotting in his sickbed and you’ve got yourself one hell of an unsteady, groggy woozefest, which probably won’t appeal to folks who are used to everything being razor-sharp. And really, that’s sort of the bottom line: if you don’t like black metal that’s off-balanced and at times disorienting, U.T.D. ain’t for you. If you do, however, you just found your soundtrack for a night spent drinking a bottle of Robitussin and howling at the moon.