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Fen - Epoch CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.91 | 144 ratings

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The Block
5 stars Of Wilderness and Ruin

To say that I like black metal even the slightest would be a bit of an over statement. Up until 'Epoch' I had only found one black metal album that I generally liked and that was 'Hvis Lyset Tar Oss' by Burzum. Taking that into account, before I even listened to Fen's newest album I had listened to the hype and expected great things. And I pretty much got what I wanted. With great atmospheric passages and heavy riffs replacing each other seamlessly 'Epoch' almost immediately caught my attention and kept it there every time I listened. Needless to say Fen has created an amazing album that is almost a lock to take 'Album of the Year 2011'.

One thing that really made me like this album was the musicians on the album. They catch your attention right off the bat with a great atmospheric opening to the album in the title track 'Epoch'. The synths, played by ''elwalh, are absolutely superb throughout the title track and the whole album. One thing that Fen does exceptionally is transfer from light airy melodies to killer heavier riffs that are so good. This difference between dark and mysterious and light and innocent sounding tracks makes for a very enjoyable experience. One of the best things to do when listening to this album is sit down in a quiet place and immerse yourself in the music and just soak it in and absorb the full potential of the album. The little things are really what make this album very special. The little bass and guitar counter melodies really make the synths pop out and leads to a much more enjoyable sound than most of the recent black metal that I have listened to. Another song I would like to point out is perhaps my favorite track on the album, 'The Gibbet Elms'. First off it is an epic, averaging out at 11 minutes, and the music on it is awesome to be simply put. The drums really carry this song and this track is one of the first songs where you can really tell the presence of the drummer, Theutus. Also this song is has great peaks and valleys that make the song have lots of movement. But the reason why I like this song the most is because of the clean vocals.

The reason why I am usually turned off by black metal is because I despise the vocals. The normal black metal screams are few and far between on this album, and instead are replaced by death metal growls, chants, and yes, clean vocals. As I mentioned before 'The Gibbet Elms' has great vocals, and this is because it features the cleanest vocals of any song on the album. Towards the end and in the beginning The Watcher shows off his real voice and it is a thing of beauty. His lower sound blends on perfectly with the synths and guitars to make for a great sound that would be pleasing to all ears. Another song that has good vocals on it is 'Of Wilderness and Ruin' because is changes it up a bit. Besides the normal growls and screams there are some chants thrown in there that really change up the feel of the album, and increase its worth. And this review wouldn't be complete without this writer saying something about the black metal screams. I have already stated before that I take no liking in them at all, but for this album I have made an acceptation. While they don't enhance the album in my eyes they don't detract from it at all, and that is good enough for me.

The production on this album is fantastic, mixing the highs and lows perfectly while still leaving room for the middle songs such as the bass and such. The sound on this album is almost reminiscent of early prog recordings but with a metal spin to them.

There's not much more to say about this album other than, if you don't already have it you should get it. Fen has made a great album that anyone could, and hopefully will enjoy. It's amazing that we're only in the third month of the year and I am almost positive that this album will stay in my top two of 2011. An easy 5 star rating is warranted here.

The Block | 5/5 |


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