"Psych Minus Space Control"

By Dr. Abner Mality

You won't find too many dudes wackier than Woe J. Reaper, even in the world of black metal. From the insanely improvised speedfest of "UTD" to the Sabbath-worshipping "Reaper Subconscious Guide", Woe and his project Furze do whatever the hell they want to with no regard for fans, scenes or preconceived ideas. With "Psych Minus Space Control", he's come up with another polarizing effort that fans will either love or hate.

Those who have hated Reaper's strange whispery vocals may get some relief here, as "P-SC" is about 90% instrumental. The album maintains some of that Sabbath feel of "Reaper Subconscious Guide", but the music is much more focused on repetitive, simple grooves. The grooves are so simple that some listeners may consider the music slightly retarded, but I'm not one of them. Somehow they manage to flow and ooze like a muddy old river, carrying you along on the back of some warm, thick riffs. "Occult Soul, with Mind" is perhaps the most overtly basic and Sabbath-like cut. However, this album features much more in the way of psychedelic/krautrock type flourishes that enhance the simple music. The 15 minute monolith "Psych Mooz Space Control" demands a lot of patience from the listener, starting with a gentle, psychedelic electric guitar motif before getting heavy and sludgy a third of the way through and then kicking in with moderate speed in the last third. Weird synth sounds and guitar effects pop up regularly and even though the doom/psych influences predominate, there is still something black metal about Furze's overall approach.

In keeping with the unbalanced way Furze does things, we then get the title track...but the title track of the previous album, not this one. I dig the weird, childish organ tune that starts this one out before morphing into another droning doom riff. "Triad of Lucifer" is really the cut that makes the album for features the best riffs and the way this tune effortlessly flows from one section to another means that its nearly 10 minute length flies by. I also like the delicate, even pretty tones of crystal bells laid down on top of the heavy grooves. On final track "When Always Ready", Reaper's screwy vocals finally arrive...strange echoey grunts that eventually turn into weird nasal droning like Ozzy with a major head cold. For me, it works.

Unconventional in just about every way, I'd recommend Furze to open minded doom metallers, psych-heads and black cultists. It's a strange but somehow comforting journey.