Fiurach - _Chaospawner_
(Scarlet, 1999)
by: Brian Meloon (9 out of 10)
Fiurach are an Italian band formerly known as Agarthi. While their EP _At the Burning Horizon_ (Red Stream, 1997) wasn't great, it had some interesting ideas. This album is a great improvement in just about all areas. The closest comparison I can make would be to an updated and expanded version of Sadist's _Into the Light_. They use keyboards and arrangements in the same general style, though Fiurach's compositions are much more advanced and varied. They also include elements of symphonic, power and progressive metal, with some sections reminding me of Helstar, Nocturnus, and even Malmsteen. They meld a variety of styles into a cohesive and natural sounding whole (somewhat like Extol do), and do so with a high degree of technical precision. The parts aren't overly technical, but the performances are solid and occasionally flashy. Generally, the keyboards are used for accompaniment and stay in the background. However, they occasionally take a more prominent role, taking the lead, and often have the sci-fi feel of Nocturnus. The vocals are rasped/shouted, similar to Sadist, but there are some "Viking metal" vocal parts as well. The production is a little faded, but acceptable. Overall, this is an excellent and unique album. It should appeal to all fans looking for new and original metal.

(article published 9/12/1999)

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