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Furnace – Stellarum

furnace – stellarum


With Furnace the multi-instrumentalist with too much time Rogga Johansson and Peter Svensson (Void Moon) went for a more melodic sound with their first two albums, ‘Black Stone Church’ and ‘Black Vistas’, both released in 2020. It took the band two years to come up with a follow-up to those two first efforts, and with ‘Stellarum’ they just continued that same musical path.

That path is basically a more melodic sort of Death Metal than we usually get served from Johansson, it even has a certain Gothic/Doomy touch to it which vaguely reminds of the golden days of gloomy metal of the 90’s, The word ‘vaguely’ was chosen deliberately, as it might indeed follow the same sort of structures, melodies and overall ambience of bands like Sentenced, Tiamat, Amorphis, Paradise Lost, Katatonia, Cemetary, Dark Tranquillity and the likes, but it never really gets wings anywhere. It sounds all flat and, frankly, quite emotionless. Which is actually something that this sort of music is supposed to be offering, an emotional ride that weaves both melodicism with good riffs, splendid vocals and meaningful lyrics. I can’t say anything about the lyrics, so we’ll give Furnace the benefit of the doubt on that, but it definitely has nothing to offer in the way of good melodies, riffs or vocals. In a seemingly desperate attempt to capture that old 90’s vibe, they have even added some female vocals, but to no result. On the contrary, listen to ‘Manifestations’, it really is just cringeworthy.

I have mentioned it many times before, I do respect and admire Johansson’s drive and contribution to the metal scene as a whole, but I don’t think he’s helping anyone with just releasing anything that comes out of his fingers. He really doesn’t need to think that he has to save the (Death) metal scene single-handedly, there are more than enough bands that can help him do that well. I keep suggesting to keep at most a band or three and make really good records with them and just discard the rest: quality over quantity. It goes without saying, Furnace really is a prime example of such a band that he would be better off leaving.