Frontiers Records (2012)
It’s understandable that melodic hard rock is experiencing a renaissance of sorts in the UK - especially due to the variety of in print publications, internet outlets and festivals small and large for the movement. Fueling the scene is a series of domestic acts who take what they hear and create their own sound - of which the five piece Furyon come from.
Hitting the streets originally on a self-financed basis in 2010, Italy’s Frontiers Records picked up the band to re-issue this “Gravitas” album on a more worldwide scale. Of the 10 songs on offer, they seem to split stylistically into two categories: more radio friendly, heavier groove affairs in line with artists like Alter Bridge and Shinedown such as “Disappear Again”, “Don’t Follow” and “Voodoo Me”, or the prolonged 6- 8 minute arrangements where the musicians can flex a little bit of their instrumental chops a la Dream Theater on “Souvenirs” or the emotionally driven “Fear Alone”.
Pluses include a powerhouse vocalist in Matt Mitchell as he’s able to travel to all parts of the musical scale with his multi-octave range and the band’s fearlessness to fuse modern rock with metal themes. I question the ‘progressive’ tag on many of the longer songs- it’s more of a classic, Led Zeppelin or Whitesnake feel that the band takes on, especially with the closer “Desert Suicide” that moves beyond a conventional ballad. It’s not surprising that producer Rick Beato (Vince Neil, Shinedown) gives Furyon a sonic quality tailor driven for mass commercial appeal.
Only time will tell if Furyon can sustain the initial impetus of popularity, but I think “Gravitas” showcases enough talent and understanding of songwriting nuances to possibly give the group a long, prosperous career in these changing tides.
Rating: 4.5 / 6
Composed by Matt Coe