posted on 3/2007 By:
I have no idea what Woe J. Reaper was like growing up, but based purely on the black metal he’s gifted upon the world with his brainchild, Furze, I’d be willing to bet he’s always been considered quite peculiar. Sadly, I’ll likely never find out whether or not he was the type of kid you’d see in kindergarten with crayons crammed up his nose and paste around his mouth, but one thing I know for certain: Woe J. Reaper is one of the most eccentric folks creating black metal today, and he openly splays his eccentricities on his sleeve with each subsequent Furze release.
My first exposure to this project was 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 very similar to a wacky Halloween record from the late 70’s (spooky ghost howls and all). The record immediately became one of my favorites, and still stands as one of my go-to bullets 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. The newer Furze goods found on Trident Autocrat strayed from the psychedelic, doomish leanings in favor of a more traditional, flailing black metal attack. Oddities still managed to seep through the walls, mind you - especially with Woe’s distinctly bizarre vocal delivery - but the project now featured a newfound acknowledgement of fast, tremolo riffing, hammering drums, and a genuinely more vicious style of delivery, which is exactly where this latest 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”. What the fuck does that mean, you ask? Folks, even after ten thousand years and ten thousand beers, I would still have no clue as to how I might fathom an answer to that question, so it’s best to simply accept it as further evidence of this dude’s oddness and just move on.
As I mentioned earlier, this record follows fairly closely in the footsteps of Trident Autocrat, in that we see a swelling of scattered, spastic tremolo riffs and flagellating drum work. This gives a lion-share of the material a sort of “swat your arms about your head to scatter angry bees” kind of feel, and even features the precise, breakneck thundering of Satyricon’s Frost on “A Life About My Sabbath” and “Beneath the Wings of the Black Vomit Above”. Things also feel quite a bit looser this time around, especially when one focuses their attention on Woe’s often schizophrenic style of bass playing. In fact, there are moments a-plenty on U.T.D. where Woe sounds as if he’s bubbling his four-stringer to an entirely different tune when compared to what the rest of the instruments are doing. Case in point, the slower passages of “Demonic Order In the Eternal Fascists Hall”, “Goatbreath”, and “Deep In the Pot of Fresh Antipodal Weave”.
Although I've already unmasked loads of kookiness, the most arrant display of this feller’s dementia deals with the utterly bizarre way he’s chosen to mix this record. There are loads of instances on U.T.D. where certain guitar licks, bass lines, and drum rolls undulate from within to behind the spotlight with no rhyme or reason, giving things a queasy sort of feel. Couple this with the fact most of the vocals sound as if Woe called them in from a phone next to his sickbed, and we’ve got ourselves one hell of a repellent black metal record, as far as most metalheads are concerned. And I suppose that’s the bottom line - this won’t appeal to the vast majority of the Metal Review audience. Hell, even those few that have enjoyed previous works might have trouble with this record. I will say this; U.T.D. has a way of wriggling into your brain over time, like a rotted, maniacal maggot. Still, if you haven't already sampled Furze's material, and you find yourself interested, I'd heartily recommend starting with one of his previous efforts before dipping into this loathsome pool.
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