FURBOWL - Those Shredded Dreams (THE CRYPT - LP 2010)
I don’t have any doubts that The Crypt is the best vinyl oriented record label around nowadays as the albums they release, plus the way they are presented and packed into special editions, are just supreme and don’t leave anything more to desire. Sure, their records are also damn expensive, but who cares…? They are always worth the money and so I buy the releases from The Crypt as often as I can only afford to – and I do so ever since the label debuted with killer Excruciate LP and then the awesome Purtenance LP. And that was back in 2009, if I remember well enough. I already have quite few records from The Crypt (about ten maybe?) in my collection and one of my favourite for sure is this one – Furbowl’s absolutely essential album “Those Shredded Dreams”, originally released on CD in 1992 (by Step One). It never has been published on vinyl, until The Crypt released it in 2010. And well, they did just the best possible work with the album, housing the triple (!!!) vinyl into fantastic three panel gatefold cover, which not only keeps the original front artwork of the albums, but additionally contains an awesome new cover painted by Zbigniew Bielak (his painting is also on the huuuggggeee poster). Inside of the gatefold you’ll find a lot of great information about the band: scans from old fanzines, liner notes (written by Max Thornell), demo covers, lyrics, old band photos… This is everything I want to see from such compilation / re-release. I hate, when they don’t offer anything else than just a music. Sure, music is the most important, but it is just great if it comes with something special, what would make that re-release worth the money and effort. Xtreem Music did a re-release of Funebre demos on LP and so what, if it’s so poorly released? You don’t need to worry about such things with The Crypt, they know what to do to make their records real treasures and special treat for the maniacs and collectors. “Those Shredded Dreams” came in limited quantity of 500 copies, 200 black and 300 white LPs and it is sold out already, but I dare to say once you see a copy somewhere don’t hesitate to buy it!
I am not gonna write much about the music of Furbowl, as I’ll do the separate reviews of all their releases, here I just want to describe and review the beautiful content of this triple LP, anyway I must point out that Furbowl were not your usual, mediocre Swedish death metal band. Even more so, they haven’t really sounded so much Swedish, in my opinion. Musically for sure they were one of the most original crews around at the time of early 90’s, I think they actually started to play something called death’n’roll even before Entombed did on their “Wolverine Blues” LP, not to mention the whole bunch of Finnish bands, which also started to play this sort of music (Xysma, Convulse, etc)… and all in all the music of Furbowl was quite progressive, already their demos sounded weird and uncanny in few places and “Those Shredded Dreams” only improved the style. You must be aware that some songs like “Razorblades” sound totally bizarre and this style of death metal is far from the usual straight forward and plain aggressive playing. This song for instance is the weirdest and most difficult to digest, with that kind of bluesy bass part in the beginning and then almost doomy parts, mixed with some prog rock or whatever… it is almost impossible to describe. But don’t worry, if this song will be too difficult to digest then maybe “Damage Done” or killer “Desertion” will sound better for you. There are enough heavy, killer riffs to satisfy your hunger!
This triple LP edition comes also with the classic “The Nightfall of Your Heart” from 1991, as well as unknown for me before “Demo 1992” on the second LP. Then the third LP contains another rare recording, which is a promo from 1993 and the whole collection is finished with few live songs recorded in Stockholm back in 1993. The sound quality, as always on such compilation records, varies – from very good, mediocre to quite harsh and raw, but I have heard some more disgusting recordings from other bands, which sometimes didn’t even deserve to be placed on the record LP (like some of the live recordings on the recent Old Funeral compilation LP… come on!). Really, the sound quality of these demos is very decent, maybe “The Nightfall…” demo sounds very blurry, bassy, the music is kind of waving like an old tape, what gives a weird feeling sometimes, but I like it a lot anyway. Demo 1992 has much better production and is also a very cool addition to the whole compilation LP, as it contains some unknown Furbowl songs, which haven’t ended up on any of their two full length albums. I was quite shocked to hear some clean vocals in one song, though. “Promo 1993” sounds also excellent and it contains some of my favourite Furbowl songs like “Dead and Gone”, which has some of the best riffs and melodies Furbowl ever came up with and quite strong kind of oriental touch in some fragments. And that Venom cover just fuckin rules – “Buried Alive”!!!!!! Live recordings sound also unbelievably good, especially for underground live recording from 1993. Usually such tracks have very bad sound, here they actually sound better than on “The Nightfall…” demo. And the cover of Carnage is a nice bonus. So, don’t worry – the sound quality is not so bad at all. And all in all this vinyl release will provide you almost two hours of amazing, bizarre death metal. Get it now!
Final rate: 90/100