Holy smokes, here somebody bears his name deservedly: FURIA. This French quintet has opted for a very melodic form of Death Metal with a certain affinity to the traditional Heavy Metal and that is quite something, furious is an attribute that I could very well stick to this album and herewith I do this as well!
The packaging of the album already is more than appealing, with a very moody artwork from Amandine Labarre, a name that you should keep in mind, if you look at this cover! Majestic mountains in a darker, strong red, partly lit up by the sun, that already raises the hopes for the CD, which's title translated means something like "A Lake Of Tears And Blood".
The production from the F/B Studios and the mastering of Mika Jussila in Finnish Finnvox Studios is also clear and powerful, just like the mightily driving Death Metal of the Frenchies needs and deserves to be, the drums press you through the back of your chair and the guitars sever your head with laser like precision, everything accentuated by quite symphonic keyboards, which never are overused, and grandiose melodies, which are further strengthened by the often strongly Heavy Metal-influenced riffs.
If this reads like a whole bunch of bands, especially from Finland, forget these comparisons again right away, because FURIA do not sound like CHILDREN OF KALMAH and consorts, but manage not to sound like other bands, but instead have their quite own touch. And a track like "Elmira, L'image D'un Destin" is a prime example for this, with traditional Metal riffing, harsh Death vocals, a few female vocals, symphonic keyboards and a very varied song structure, that's the way it should be! And that by far is not all that FURIA have on offer on "Un Lac De Larmes Et De Sang…"!
Swedish elk death is spiced up with elements from the Metal of the Eighties and a good portion of symphonic elements, which almost would make bands like THERION look up in wonder, additionally the French band brings us a very variable vocal attack, starting with the deep growls and higher shrieks of Damien Paquet over the clean female guest vocals of Adeline (of AKIN) and a few clear vocals by Franky (Arnaud, if I am not mistaken), which bring the overall sound even more of an original note. According to the info FURIA's "Un Lac De Larmes Et De Sang…" is built on a concept, where the different singers/vocal styles represent different characters. As the folks are doing the whole thing completely in French, I am on a lost post as far as the story goes, but maybe Val might be able to shed some light here…
But back to the music. Even though FURIA technically process known elements, which remind you of a band here or another one there, they still manage to forge their own sound out of it, always with some small surprises (like well used samples), which keep the interest high also on the long run. Also within the single songs they nicely vary the tempo and intensity, but without ever crossing over into progressive regions, everything stays very well accessible at all times.
As best tracks I would point out the title track "Un Lac De Larmes Et De Sang…", the great "Elmira, L'image d'un Destin", "Mémoires D'outre-Tombe" with its great alternating vocals and very catchy, cleanly sung chorus, or "L'oratoire De La Folie", a damn good song with accentuating acoustic guitars, but without wanting to hint that the rest of the songs would not be damn good as well.
All in all I just have to attest FURIA a very strong delivery, which I really would not have expected! In the last couple of months Death Metal is surprising me with a quite big number of highly surprising and good albums/bands and if you feel any kind of affinity to the described music, then don't let anything stand between you and "Un Lac De Larmes Et De Sang…", because this album can convince in all areas! (Online August 26, 2003)