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Fen The Dead Light album cover
4.04 | 7 ratings | 1 reviews | 29% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2019

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Witness (5:55)
2. The Dead Light Part 1 (7:12)
3. The Dead Light Part 2 (3:18)
4. Nebula (7:05)
5. Labyrinthine Echoes (9:52)
6. Breath of Void (6:11)
7. Exsanguination (8:03)
8. Rendered in Onyx (9:36)

Total Time: 58:12

Bonus tracks on 2019 double-CD SE:
9. Monochromatic Ossuary (6:30)
10. Searching (3:44)
11. Echoes of the Crowpath (6:09)

Line-up / Musicians

- Frank Allain "The Watcher" / lead vocals, electric & acoustic guitars, e-bow
- Adam Allain "Grungyn" / bass, piano, vocals
- Pete Aplin "Havenless" / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Adam Allain

CD Prophecy Productions ‎- PRO 277 (2019, Germany)
CDx2 Prophecy Productions - PRO 277LU (2019, Germany) 3 bonus tracks on 2nd disc, new cover

LPx2 Prophecy Productions ‎- PRO277LP (2019, Germany)

Digital album

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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FEN The Dead Light ratings distribution

(7 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(57%)
Good, but non-essential (14%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

FEN The Dead Light reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars "The Dead Light" by the UK Post Metal band Fen is the band's 6th full length album. The band is currently a trio made up of original band members Frank Allain (known as "The Watcher") on lead vocals and guitars, and Adam Allain (known as "Grungyn") on bass and vocals. The third member is known simply as "Havenless" on drums. This album consists of 8 tracks with a run time totaling close to one hour. There is a Luxus version of the CD with 3 bonus tracks included.

The music is dark and harsh, yet it also includes some long, more pensive moments that are close to a bleak sounding ambience. The vocals are mostly growling, but leaning more towards whispering then yelling. The music is quite excellent, full of nice heavy guitar and progressive drumming. As the album begins, it is led off with a somewhat pensive track called "Witness" that is quite dark and bleak, yet it still grabs your soul as it reaches for your darker recesses for almost 6 minutes, before it leads into the two-part black metal tracks "The Dead Light". Here the heaviness is emphasized through most of the track, though the drums stay at a steady moderate pace, the vocals become more apparent as both singer provide different dirty tones, almost as a growling harmonization. The two parts are separated by a softer interlude, but doesn't stay there for long as it emphasizes the instrumental themes of the two tracks, leaving the vocals out.

"Nebula" is much more progressive with style, mood and tempo changes apparent throughout the track. The drums are much more wild and approach djent styles at times, however, the vocals are both clean and dirty at different times, and the way the vocals are delivered is actually quite appealing and unique as the track moves smoothly through heavy and softer passages. The longest track "Labyrintine Echoes", which nears the 10 minute mark, has a post-metal jangle to it as the rhythm gets established and the music moves along surprisingly smoothly until a sudden outburst dials everything up several notches. Throughout the album, the music and vocals seem to carry a lot of the atmosphere of the folk metal of "Agalloch", but with more heaviness and not quite as bleak. The harshness becomes much heavier in this track as it continues, and the djent styles become more apparent in the drums. Up until the 6 minute mark, the music is probably the heaviest of the album, but after that, the music turns to a more experimental and ambient sound as the band softens its approach but still doesn't slack off on the darkness of the sound. The music again becomes intense as it builds back to the return of the vocals, and then returns to end on a softer section.

"Breath of Void" is quite relentlessly loud and extreme through its 6 minute run time, while the following track "Exsanguination" contains some softer passages and clean vocals mixed throughout the heavy passages and also provides a more complex and dynamic track. "Rendered in Onyx" lives up to it's title as in the beginning it meanders along with a murky ambience before the band kicks and wordless vocals provide a melodic sound to the music, and then the djent takes over. Again, this track moves smoothly and seamlessly from ambient sections to extreme passages without sounding chopped up like some of the more amateur dark metal bands do.

Though the album has a lot more dirty and growling vocals than what I usually care for, there is no denying the fact that the tracks are well-composed, progressive and the musicianship is top-notch. Those that love extreme prog will find plenty to love here, but, except for "Breath of Void", that level of extreme is not relentless. The music has plenty of room to breath and there is still a lot of dynamic usage in the album to keep the music from growing stale. The overall feel is murky, heavy, dark and solid, but still the band finds time to be pensive and ambient throughout the tracks. Be warned however that those who do not like dirty and growling vocals will find that there is an extensive use of this style throughout the album. Nevertheless, for a doom/black metal style, there is still enough ingenuity in the tracks to keep prog lovers engaged in the music, so I must give this album 4 stars.

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