Download – Furnace – Review

Download

Furnace (Cleopatra)
by Lex Marburger

There’s something dangerous in your mind, and Download know how to get at it. They present the raging tempest of a mind on the verge of collapse, the struggle between sleep and dreams. Furnace ranges from disquieting ambient forms to soul-bleeding-on-the-dance-floor beats, all transitions smooth as the kiss of a knife. Urgent whispers, indecipherable and insistent, surface from under the music like vapor from a marsh, like pedophiliac thoughts at a kindergarten. It invades your space, gets under your skin, and begins to take hold at the base of your brain.

Because Download is ex-members of Skinny Puppy, these sound mutations shouldn’t be surprising. Adding to the brooding chaos is an ex-member of Zoviet France and Genesis P. Orridge, the genius behind Psychic TV.

Now I can detect the forward movement of each song, the hidden form and objective, tucked down, deep down into the sound of electric mayhem and oozing circuitry. A mental sauna, Furnace brings ugly things out of your soul and to the surface of your face, where you can feel those things dripping off your skin like thick sweat. Many groups can identify the fetid splinters in the soul, but Download wants to go one step further. If all it takes is a surgical blade diving in and out, slicing quickly, so be it. If what’s needed is a pair of pliers, a hacksaw, and nine yards of barbed wire, well… They’re not afraid to get their hands filthy in the process of ripping out the evil inside all of us.

But how to identify the evil? Like attracts like. Furnace is sinister, menacing, and not afraid to grab your neck and hurl you through a window of perception in hopes that you’ll cut your line of sight on the way out. Any tool is at their disposal. If what you need is 120 beats per minute dance floor techno to get you interested and involved, they’ll use it. If you go calmly into the dark, Download will creep up behind you and gently urge you further into the thick, inky blackness. And once they’ve reached that level of anguish and despair with you, and you’re whimpering in the night, that’s when they strike with their proper force.

Now that you’re in the right place, they need you in the right time. Fragmented bursts of sound sparks crackle overhead, and demon frequencies arise around you, oppressing the spirit, crowding the brain, pressing against your skull, driving away all thought except for the now, forcing all remembrance and regret onto the floor, crushing them under a talon of bass and claws of treble – and then vanishing. Your compressed brain expands to fill up the moment. But you can’t just float aimlessly. This is hedonism, but we need healing.

The rhythm starts, a low pulse offering a string of coherence, the first in an eternity, and the aural demons return, now forming a gauntlet, tearing at you, ripping out what they want to feed upon. Pain, fear, the loss of will – voraciously crammed into mouths of howling fury and infinite violent beauty. Your body becomes lighter as Download empties your soul of impurities, leaving it behind in the sonic vibrations.

And then the voice, the brutally honest voice of Genesis P. Orridge, “You can hurt me and hurt me and hurt me. You can emasculate me. Guess what? I love you. I love you. I LOVE YOU.” My living room comes swirling back. Colors are brighter. The coffee is bitter. Life is worth living. Download has succeeded.

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