Review Summary: Chemical Furnace is an instrumental exploration of deep space. One of the best new albums you have never heard.
Fornax Chemica's debut album Chemical Furnace is 50 minutes of intense instrumental music inspired by ancient Incan culture, spiritual thought and deep space.
The Auckland trio recorded their project at RadioStar Studios in California, where it was produced by Sylvia Massey (Tool, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Johnny Cash) and mastered by John Golden (Primus, Sonic Youth and The Melvins).
Chemical Furnace sounds like a blend of Tool-esque progressive metal riffs and atmospheric post-rock. With only four tracks, three of which are over 10 minutes long, this isn't the most accessible album in the world. But I don't think the band is too concerned about having an audience of screaming 13 year olds either.
The title track starts off with a quick atmospheric introduction before leading into a catchy riff that re-appears throughout the song and ends with a chugging heavy finale at the 11 minute mark.
Right from the beginning, it is obvious Corey Friedlander, Simon Ross and Caleb Thompson are great musicians with their psychedelic interludes and technical prowess. Accelerated Decrepitude is possibly my favourite song on the album with an impressive bass-line supported by fret-board wizardry, which reminds me of another great band, Cynic.
My only minor complaint is the seven minutes of atmospheric sound effects at the end of the track which seem a little excessive and most people will skip after the first listen.
Admittedly, there is only so much you can say about an instrumental album but I have my own favourite moments on each song. From the quick solo half way through Seismic Charge to the drumming on O.H Kril.
Despite passing by largely unnoticed in the tiny New Zealand music industry, these guys have definitely brought something unique and interesting to our local sound.
At times haunting, gloomy and exciting. This is a great debut album.
If you want to be one of the first people to jump on the bandwagon check them out here: myspace.com/fornaxchemica
or watch their Seismic Charge video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch"v=ijigDlfYh7g