Rating:
7.5
Fen - Epoch
11 February 2011


01. Epoch
02. Ghosts Of The Flood
03. Of Wilderness And Ruin
04. The Gibbet Elms
05. Carrier Of Echoes
06. Half-Light Eternal
07. A Waning Solace
08. Ashbringer


So... post-black metal. Yeah, combining our beloved kvltest genre with the atypical song structure of post-rock has been quite a fad lately, with bands playing in this style springing out of the wood works like crazy. Making a total and complete fuck-up of a post-black metal album seems impossible (at least I've never heard one), but making a really brilliant one is almost as hard. With Epoch, Fen provide quite a solid contribution to the genre, without rising to any soaring heights.

It seems this album could have been much more than it is. On its finer moments, calm, mellow, almost acoustic passages slowly set the stage, carefully layering the sound with melancholic melodies that take their sweet time to fully unfurl and explode into spine-shivering monolithic climaxes. Really, some tracks on Epoch are possibly some of the greatest soundtracks one could ask for on a windy, rainy November evening, at that point of the day where light is gone, yet not fully replaced by darkness. Unfortunately, on its less fine moments, the tracks feel like they drag for too long, and one would expect that a truly colossal finish would ensue after so much time spent on setting the stage for them: unfortunately, climaxes burn out before their achieve their purpose and make the listener feel as if he's been played for a fool by a promise that was never kept.

Although, this can sometimes work in the album's favor. Take the opening track for example. There is no real climax; the entire track playfully dances just on the verge of one, never letting the build-up tension tone down. Occasionally, the riffs get meaner and nastier, more in the vein of traditional black metal, but quickly tone down and resume the mellow droning, frequently with clean chant-like vocals.

Do I recommend Epoch? Yes, I definitely do. I would be lying if I said I didn't quite enjoy the gloomy, sombre journey through rainy, misty landscapes with which it provided me. On the other hand, I can't call it a must-have. Shortening it and giving it more focused and tightened songwriting could have made the album a truly great one, but alas. Still, if you like your music to be a sonic equivalent of a serene sea shore after a violent storm has spun through, give it a listen.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 8


Band profile: Fen
Album: Epoch


 


written by Slayer666 | 16.11.2011


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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Oaken - 16.11.2011 at 15:42  
Good review there, although you could have given it a higher rating, perhaps an 8... But taking into account that it introduces nothing new, I think the rating is fine. Nevertheless, this is a great piece of atmospheric/post-black metal, with more focus on post-metal than black metal. I really enjoyed the harsh vocals which somehow reminded me of Agalloch's John Haughm. The best tracks for me were "Ghost Of The Flood", "Of Wilderness And Ruin" and "The Gibbet Elms". However, my favorite part of the album was the intro to "Carrier Of Echoes". Impeccable drumming.
!J.O.O.E.! - 16.11.2011 at 15:44  
Agree with the rating. Not a patch on the masterful Malediction Fields. Anyone interested in Fen should hit that up instead.
Troy Killjoy - 16.11.2011 at 19:34  
Agree with JOOE, this album is a big letdown compared to its predecessor. Review does a good job explaining its qualities while pointing out its flaws.
Introspekrieg - 16.11.2011 at 19:45  
It's hard to top TMF, so I don't consider this a letdown so much. Great review for a worthwhile album in it's own right.
malaikat - 16.11.2011 at 19:50  
Agree with the review completely, although I would still rate it around 8.
Slayer666 - 16.11.2011 at 21:12  
Thanks dudes. I've a question though.
Who do I have to sleep with talk to about getting a permission to review shizz by invisible bands?
There is a number of 2011 releases I'd like to review, but can't.
Troy Killjoy - 16.11.2011 at 21:19  
Written by Slayer666 on 16.11.2011 at 21:12
Who do I have to sleep with talk to about getting a permission to review shizz by invisible bands?
There is a number of 2011 releases I'd like to review, but can't.

Is that still a rule? I thought we scrapped that a while ago. Anyway, PM Lyrinan or Doc Godin to clarify. I personally don't see a problem with it.
Mr. Doctor - 16.11.2011 at 21:25  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 16.11.2011 at 21:19

Written by Slayer666 on 16.11.2011 at 21:12
Who do I have to sleep with talk to about getting a permission to review shizz by invisible bands?
There is a number of 2011 releases I'd like to review, but can't.

Is that still a rule? I thought we scrapped that a while ago. Anyway, PM Lyrinan or Doc Godin to clarify. I personally don't see a problem with it.


You ruined a good opportunity to fuck his brains out.
Slayer666 - 16.11.2011 at 21:37  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 16.11.2011 at 21:25

You ruined a good opportunity to fuck his brains out.


Naah, all he has to do is ask nicely. And bring some lube. I'm out from the last time.
Ag Fox - 19.11.2011 at 03:13  
Spot on review

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