1 Apr 2023

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Fornax Chemica - Album Review: Audio Vision

06 Aug 2020 // A review by Chris Chick
Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat, creating, producing, and performing an album is a massive undertaking in itself. I am always impressed by any musician who is able to accomplish this, no matter the genre or the instruments they play (the more the better I say) this is why longevity within the music industry is not to be ignored when embracing all aspects of artists you love, and those you find hard to love.

Fornax Chemica are not new to the scene, this will be their tenth year since their debut album Chemical Furnace was released in 2010. A much heralded band with a lot of promise to enlighten the listening public with a psychedelic rock mirage of sound and sustenance. Here are my takeaways from this album:

Solaris -
 every good album should start with a heavy guitar, and this song certainly does. It is an impact statement to start the album, I enjoyed the fact it did not appear follow a typical song structure of a verse and chorus, back to a verse idea. There was much intrigue in how the song would continue to develop and come to an eventual end. I was hoping for a barn storming finale with an upbeat tempo, akin to the days of the mid 90’s with the false finishes. But yet maybe my mind needs to settle down a bit sometimes, and just allow what will be, to be.

Mother - upbeat and easy to the ear. There is a lot going on in terms of the interaction between the guitars and the drums, but the harmony brings forth a good head bang. Who needs those brain cells anyway?

Whilst I was listening to the album I noticed a good mix of timing for all the songs, some were 5 minutes long, others just a shy away from 2 minutes. It was nice to see this change, as it gives the whole album a vibe that invokes the emotional response, rather than being indulged in sameness.

I like the gravely sound that is produced, not too melancholy. As much as I dig some melancholy, if you have too much, it can become a downer rather than an upper.

Audio Vision - this is one of the highlights of the album, it has a very Red Hot Chili Peppers with its distinctive guitar work, which is very different to the rest of the album, gives the album a nice pick me up four songs in.

Epoch and Coda Voodoo the mood changes quickly with these two as the mood becomes quite dark and somewhat 'chilling' if that is your thing, these are sure to enrich your emotions.

This album did not jump out at me at first, it took a second and a third listen to really open up the nuance of what I was listening to. After the third listen through I started to pick up on some really in depth musical sounds that made me realise how talented this band is in terms of their musical ability. Just being able to make a different sound from one song to the next is a challenge for any musician, but Fornax Chemica make the album sound continually fresh.

Fornax Chemica Audio Vision is not for every ear, but it certainly ticks all the boxes in terms of how I would rate music. Does the music get an emotional reaction? Yes. Does the music make me think about life and the contents of what are being spoken to me? Yes, they do. Anything else that is good, is a bloody good bonus in my books. This a solid 3 out 5 star album, I certainly look forward to what may come next from these guys.

Rating: ( 3 / 5 )

About Fornax Chemica

Fornax Chemica are a progressive, instrumental three-piece post rock act from Auckland, New Zealand.

Conceptually, the band explore themes centered on deep space and science fiction; with a particular emphasis on Incan scientific and space exploration philosophies and imagery. Fornax Chemica are not afraid to wear their thematic influences on their sleeves, and cite everything from the aforementioned cultures of South America to Dune, Blade Runner and Star Wars as key sculptors of their highly exploratory sonic landscape.

Musically, Fornax Chemica play a brooding, surreal form of progressive post rock, with a particular emphasis on innovative songwriting and technical prowess. Doom-laden riffs and thunderous, high energy rhythms blend seamlessly with psychedelic interludes, mind-melting polyrhythms and passages of pure ambient expressiveness. Influenced sonically by everyone from The Melvins, Tool, Secret Chiefs 3 and Isis to Angelo Badalamenti, King Crimson and Led Zeppelin, the band have shared stages with the likes of Cult of Luna, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, Kerretta, Black Boned Angel and This City Sunrise.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Fornax Chemica


Audio Vision
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Chemical Furnace
Year: 2010
Type: EP

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