Following the collapse of Skinny Puppy, cEvin Key and Dwayne Goettel turned toward a more ambient, electronic style. That Goettel didn't live to see Download hit their stride is quite sad, because Furnace is, for the most part, an excellent mix of exotic, disturbing sounds. The first three songs set such a dark, fierce pace that the remainder of the album struggles in comparison. "Mallade" creates a stunningly bleak atmosphere. "Seel hole" is an experimental industrial creation that sounds like a collaboration where Aphex Twin and Goblin score a remake of Blade Runner as directed by horror maestro Dario Argento. "Omniman" should have been a club hit; its accessible demented beats and Genesis P. Orridge's creepy, humorous babbling are endlessly entertaining. After the somewhat murky and bland middle section of the album, the band strikes inspiration again with the My Bloody Valentine meets Skinny Puppy hodgepodge of "Beehatch" and the spooky Orridge love poem that is "Marred." On the latter song, Orridge sings masochistically that his lover can hurt him and emasculate him, but his love will remain. While Furnace isn't as consistently bleak or political as any album from Skinny Puppy, it signaled that Goettel and Key weren't satisfied to rest on their considerable laurels. The album is dedicated to and in memory of Goettel, and it's fitting that Furnace is at once so listenable and challenging like the output of Skinny Puppy. Though it contains some tracks that aren't entirely interesting, its moments of genius are potent indeed.
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AllMusic Review by Tim DiGravina