FURZE is a one man's analog Black Metal cult from Norway by Woe J Reaper. Other musicians have also guested on records or stage thru the years: Sadomancer (Deathhammer, Black Magic etc), Kristian Tank Valbo (Aura Noir, Obliteration, Void Eater , Valhall etc), Mannevond (Faustcoven, Koldbrann), Frost (1349, Satyricon, Gorgoroth etc), Desecrator (Endezzma, Krypt etc) and more (see Wiki).
FURZE are currently up for a 7th studio album entitled THE PRESENCE... to be released August 24th on their own Polytriad Fingerprints recorded at their newly raised 100% analog Polytriad Studios.
Woe J Reaper (born June 28th 1977) was an young, if not uniquely, at least relatively very early fan in Bærum/Asker (Norway) of death/thrash/doom/psych/prog rock and (then) above all Black Metal back in 1992. Locally there was only Sabazios (Mysticum) existing in the black fields. But Reaper heard about them later in '92 upon attending to their Asker Festivalen gig, prior to their debut demo beeing released, a great discovery gig. From the Norwegian scene you had in the center; Mayhem, Darkthrone, Thorns and Burzum and the whole Helvete/DSP "vibe" existing back then which was quite impressive and made a difference in the way that it was a local (national) strong creative and dark movement. It wasn't just an antichristian thrash/death thing that came with the wind in a glossy zine. It was Helvete's gloom, it was cool fanzines, letter writing and getting global evil demo tapes and this time, strong Norwegian artists with diversity, contradictions and unity. Perfect black chaos. Against christ, like Reaper himself had been since the early childhood, when a teacher (1985) tryed to force feed shitty faith and dogma. And so he began creating his own journey...
In the years 1992 - 1998 Woe J Reaper had riffs and lyrics developed and a few attempts of creating a lineup but it was in 1998 when culminating in solitary recording ways that the first demo, "NECROMANZEE" arrived. And in 1999 the "TRIDENT BLACK METAL FEAST" promo (basically TRIDENT AUTOCRAT incl all 9 recorded songs in a raw mixed version) got FURZE a deal with Norwegian Apocalyptic Empire Records.
The demos showed black metal mingled with psych 70s/Black Sabbath inspiration (a cover of ELECTRIC FUNERAL was recorded during "Zaredoo" sessions in Jan-April 1998). FIRST FEAST FOR FREEDOM became the schizoid debut EP in May 2000 including 4 very diverse songs... Mind you, Woe J Reaper plays the string instruments with fingernails only, ultra fast and slow picking all the same - and never with a plectrum...he simply to this very day never learned how to!
However, the debut "TRIDENT AUTOCRAT" was an overall a harder affair. Again aiming for a "polytriad effect" (diversity), but with main focus on "transcendental hard black atmophere". The album had 3 songs from the original recordings cut away since the label got a "mini LP pressing price" from pressing plant if it were just under 30 min and that was the budget. The album got both praised and slaughtered. Something which striked Reaper at a quite early point was that it was strange how many followers of FURZE that were themselves musicians; feedback pointed in the direction that the "crowd" didnt really know what "kind" of black metal this band was actually portraying. Neither did the press, who were early birds of describing FURZE as "plain weirdness" and the like. Many thought Furze isnt black metal at all, maybe because they couldnt stand (or just didnt like, of course) the music's difference and hunger there of, or maybe they simply hadn't had their ears with sufficient interest towards different black atmospheres in which the rich powerful inheritance the diverse 80s and early 90s from the global UG could provide us ? And not to forget THEIR influences again. But who cares?
The 2nd album, a double LP, was finished recorded just after the first was released. The labelboss (Tiller - ex-NEPHRITE etc - of the now great NACHASH) aimed for a bigger budget for his label in Summer '01 but was jailed for 1 and 1/2 year for attempt of robbery...which delayed the 2nd album till 2003 since there was no interesting labels wanting this release in 2001 except (NECROPHAGIA's) Killjoy's BAPHOMET RECORDS but came to no agreement (Reaper had met him in Trondheim and handed over the debut album).
NECROMANZEE COGENT was probably a bold release for its time. All recorded by Reaper. Psych 70s necro doomish 80s/early 90s black metal, with a 23 min + song and it all...Still a fave to many Furze fans. To Furze it has always been about following the urge to create and manifest the darkest, best FURZE tracks to tape. Sewed together with lyrics (and artwork) which somehow fulfill music with direction. The Triad was ever evolving...
After this, FURZE recorded in 2004 and 2005 (before signing as always) the next album UTD and signed to Candlelight Records in 2006 as well as re-releasing the two first albums via them same Autumn. On this album Desecrator and Frost stepped in on drums on respectively 1 and 2 songs (of 8). This album has some of the hardest material ever written by the band and was deemed as "the actual follow-up album to TRIDENT AUTOCRAT" - probably because NECROMANZEE COGENT included a vast portion of material written in the 90s while here, after a very delayed 2nd album, it felt like new fierceness without boundaries was kicking back in; binding it all up in a holy hell! The album was a split-album, FURZE with FURZE, and the first album to conceive strong extensive work on the Triad conceptual lyrics. To this day the letters "U.T.D"' and their meaning are hidden from the surface, there was never intended, a gramary way of saying "united" which is a common understanding of "utd". And as the subtitles go: UTD: Beneath the Odd-Edge Sounds to the Twilight Contract of the Black Fascist/UTD: The Wealth of the Penetration in the Abstract Paradigmas of Satan" - the "fascism" here was nothing but a utter existential uttering and expression in the name of art (and the Triad in this reference). Interviews on this subject exists on the web and in fanzines.
Again FURZE chose a new creative no compromise on the 4th album REAPER SUBCONSCIOUS GUIDE. This time signing to Agonia Records, FURZE went all-in on the previously analog cultivation since the demo-tapes: this time investing larger budget on going into Silver Tone Studios for recording and mixing and to conceive an even pure-analog mastering. Having to travel to Atlantis Studio(King Crimson, Abba etc) early 2010 to achieve the analog lacquer mastering . The CD has thus a different mastering than the LP version. The album performance was 100% recorded by Woe J Reaper and the sessions were packed with 2 further songs even for the next album. RSG made use of eerie glockenspiel and loud spooky Geezer-esque bass (yet 5 string) to create more Furzing blackness for the souls metal. Dedicated to the 70-75 era of BLACK SABBATH. Yet in retrospect, the sound/style has something quite 80s mingled in as well.
PSYCH MINUS SPACE CONTROL - released in May 2012 on Fysisk Format - the album was - except one shorty ending song - an all instrumental affair! The doomish dominance from previous album continued and the album even included a diged forth partly finished 13 min long song recorded way back during the NECROMANZEE COGENT days in Trondheim in 2001. The title of the album is set to describe contrast to the moral value of ancient heavenly belief , now transformed unto modern day science (by many parties, not all by all means). As far as sales goes, this one must be their most slowly selling album to date. And slow was the music. Partly recorded at - and mixed by/with Lars Fredrik Frøyslie (Tusmørke) at LFF Studios.
2013 saw the comp LP Box HIDDEN HITS OF THE OFFICIAL REAPER VOL 1 being released via Apocalyptic Empire Records including the debut demo NECROMANZEE from 1998 as well as 7 bonus tracks.
On the next record another dramatic change; Desecrator returned to drums for half the album called BAPHOMET WADE. Valbo recorded drums for 1 and Sadomancer doing drums on 2. For the first time Reaper only did drums on 1 song. The album was released as a debut full length CD/LP release on the newly born (Furze-song-entitled) Fresh Tea label. BAPHOMET WADE is the least diverse album from FURZE - 7 of 8 songs were black metal 80s style with just a hint of 70s sound. If UTD have the hardest elements on any Furze release - this record is the overall hardest album. This time with open hostility in the lyrics towards other religions than christianity as well. Binding with these talented musicians resulted in the first ever FURZE gigs! Starting up by headlining HELLBOTN METAL FEST August 2015 prior to the album's release. Definitely a success. Then it was time for the release party. No less than 2 hours of FURZE metal in Sandvika with NACHASH as warm up. But perhaps a little disappointing with just 45-50 persons present! These two had the line up of Sadomancer (drums), Valbo (bass), Reaper (guitar) and Mannevond (vox).The last gig was INFERNO FESTIVAL 2017 only this time Valbo was busy elsewhere and Stig York stepped in on bass.
THE PRESENCE... marks 20 years of releases for FURZE/WOE J REAPER. Now with a heavily cool analog studio present and for this the 7th album standing on own feet with an own label to release it too. A very diverse album consisting of 10 tracks with a red thread binding it all up in a malicious yet balanced analog black metal production on a new level compared to their catalogue. A new profile following the start of the label includes a No distributors, No wholesale, No CD printing and No Bullshit direction. Only available as single-sales directly from label/band. Vinyl limited to only 300 ex. A new bandcamp with official digital download and a little merch, a new homepage launched at furze.no and refreshed Facebook shall provide sufficient promo and info to already existing fans and todays UG needs. (More about the last mentioned in the liner notes within the LP). Polytriad Fingerprints will release future records of FURZE only (the only ambition).
- And beware, their next LP is recorded....