Thursday, 9 December 2010


One of the most appropriately named bands in the British scene, Fen say that their primary goal "is to draw the listener into a windswept and desolate landscape, bereft of hope." I'm not sure it needs the last emotional qualifier, but their music is an extremely powerful entity, which I am sure is capable of inspiring a range of emotional responses in a wide audience. Last year's Malediction Fields album has been a slow grower on me, taking almost a year to really sink in it is finally proving itself an equal to the works of Wodensthrone and Winterfylleth in the sonic personification of its environment - the wide open space and misty vistas of England's fenlands are thoroughly invoked in the bands form of hybrid post-rock black metal.  In January Fen release Epoch, their second full length album and one which should do for them as The Mercian Sphere has done for Winterfylleth in the field of UKBM and add them alongside Alcest as a major force in the romantic shoegaze genre of black metal. The rehearsal track of A Waning Solace posted on their MySpace has an excellent mix of synth melody and atmosphere, rasping and clean vocals, ambient guitar playing that builds to a rushing torrent of riffing and percussion, indicating their new album will be a move away from the more earthy feel of their previous record and up toward a spiritually elevated music capable of communion with the natural elements surrounding it, and a sublime harnessing of ancient and beautiful forces.

Fen's guitars/vocalist The Watcher, bassist Grungyn and drummer Theutus all play in Skaldic Curse (more later) along with Scapula who once played in Akercocke. The keyboardist Æðelwalh also plays in Wodensthrone.

A Witness To the Passing Aeons from The Malediction Fields

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