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Fen
Dustwalker
December 2012
Released: 2013, Code666
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team

British Black Metaller’s Fen are a band whose sound has become heavily immersed in concepts of desolation, abandonment from their depiction of the English Fen region. Having been around since 2006 and releasing various material, their new album Dustwalker is set to continue the exploration of these themes as they attain a more well refined sound.



Opening with ‘Consequence’ the frosty black metal shrieking , speedy drumming and barbaric riffs glide through in full force. The mid breakdown is neatly locked in by a strong bass groove. The track plays out with an infernal lung bellowing growls that are entrenched in desperation and passion. Spoken words and melodic guitars help to give everything a smoother sound and versatility.



‘Hand of Dust’ strums out with a clean guitar melody and a sombre sound atmosphere pervading throughout, giving a desolate landscape which is met with clean vocals in its dream like delicacy. Definitely a well crafted piece of music you could loose yourself in, but not for long as the infernal growling and drums intervene giving everything a bigger and more epic scale.



The interesting avenues being explored don’t stop there, as the heavily induced Pink Flloyd sounding ‘Spectre’ unfolds seamlessly with clean guitars and effects resonating through out the well written lyrical passages.

  

The mid section of ‘Wolf Sun’ with its technical drum work of works well with metallic riffs and is definitely a standout moment on this record. Meanwhile, the colossal impact of ‘Black Cloud’ comes pummelling down from a great height with filth ridden riffs, ice cold screams and melodic interludes.



The 13 minute ‘Walking the Crowpath’ displays more shatteringly powerful drumming, subtle guitar layers that fuse together well with a stronger vocal range which shifts between deep throated and high pitched shrieks. The last half feels like a voyage into the unknown as the instrumentation plays out on a an almost theatrical scale that is impossible not to become pulled in by. The spoken words and clean breakdown fit everything well before the drums and harsh vocals erupt into full vibrancy before dispersing into the acoustic ambience of ‘Epilogue’.



What can be taken away from this album? Well in short there really isn’t much to criticise here. Somehow Fen have unleashed something quite special with this exceptional piece of art. A strongly distinctive sound that is as enthralling as it is technically proficient. With a firm direction that never looses its way and one that isn’t afraid to delve into progressive territory the only thing left to say is go check these guys out.

 

Review by Ben Spencer
Track Listing

1. Consequence
2. Hands of Dust
3. Spectre
4. Reflections
5. Wolf Sun
6. The Black Sound
7. Walking the Crowpath
8. Epilogue (bonus track ltd edition)

Lineup

Derwydd - Drums
The Watcher - Vocals, Guitars
Grungyn - Bass, Vocals


Next review: » Fenris - Fill The Void
Previous review: » Felony - Helltown Hotel





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