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Fen - Epoch CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.91 | 144 ratings

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5 stars "Epoch" is the 2nd full-length studio album by UK black metal act Fen. The album was released in February 2011 by Code666. Fen registered on my radar with their great debut album "The Malediction Fields (2009)". A great atmospheric black metal album which incorporates elements from both post-rock and shoegaze.

...thatīs also more or less how I would describe the music on "Epoch". Itīs obvious that the band have grown quite a bit as songwriters though and what was great on the debut is now perfected here. The epic melancholic black metal atmospheres created by synths, bass, guitar and drums are simply astonishing in their bleak beauty and paired with the mellow shoegazing elements in the songs, this makes for quite the satisfying musical journey. The vocals by The Watcher varies between harsh black metal rasps, clean melancholic/ shoegaze type vocals and a few shouted vocals too. His delivery is strong and he shows here, that he is a skilled vocalist with many intriguing ideas. The production has to be mentioned here too, as it suits the music perfectly. Itīs relatively raw and organic but not in a lo-fi way. The production does a great job of controlling the wall of sound the band create in the more raw black metal sections.

The musicianship is generally very strong on the album, but I have to give a special mention to drummer Theutus. Not only is his playing organic and very "human", which is something I greatly enjoy if itīs done like this, but he is also very inventive and does a great job at providing variation in the rythm department throughout the album. He is a reminder of how much a great drummer means to music. Another asset are the epic synths played by Æðelwalh. Majestic and beautiful.

The 8 track, 64:58 minute long album never fails to deliver. Not a dull moment in sight. For such a long album thatīs quite the achivement IMO. Fen prove here that they are far from finished developing their sound and that we may expect even greater things on subsequent releases ( and that shouldnīt be misinterpreted as if "Epoch" isnīt a complete album, because it certainly is). The adventurous approach they have to writing songs is inspiring and while "Epoch" is sure to keep me busy for a long time, I canīt wait to hear what Fen will put in the brew next time. A 4.5 - 5 star rating is fully deserved. This one has the potential of becoming album of the year for me.

UMUR | 5/5 |


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