Monday, 9 October 2017

Black metal is a strange genre…. Whilst to most people is just a noise and one band/song is indistinguishable from the next there are some variations of note

Bands form the UK seem to lack that cold nihilism that the Scandinavians do so well and the music seem to be more sort of widescreen, ‘epic’ even

This is especially true of the new (released earlier this year) album from Fen. Over just 6 tracks Winter is a huge feeling album. The length of the tracks ranger from 9 to 17 minutes is part of the reason but the changes in pace, mixed with some brutal musicianship and possibly some sort of concept make it a really fascinating listen

It’s not really worth picking out individual tracks but IV (Internment) has some amazing instrumental passages and even a false ending, the switch in gear on track III (Fear) where the atmospheric intro suddenly takes off with the drums just being pummelled into submission is exhilarating

This is a very English take on black metal, more in line with Winterfylleth but there is also a bit of goth (Nephilim style) and elements of post rock (the density and atmosphere of it all)

It could do with a bit more light and shade in the vocal department to make it a truly classic album – the clean vocals are used very sparingly and you wonder if just adding an occasional female voice in there would take it to the next level  

I bought this on vinyl and the packaging is brilliant…. Double LP in translucent green to match the artwork, fully printed sleeves with all the lyrics and even bonus tracks exclusive to the vinyl. Some more established bands should take note, you can produce an amazing physical product for under £25.

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