Label: Code666/Aural Music
Written by: Basak Günel
Those of you who are familiar with the atmospheric black metal genre have definitely heard the name Fen. Hailing from England, the band has been delivering us some fine tunes from this genre since 2006 and their style makes them stand out from the other bands. The band has released 5 full-length albums so far with the last one being “Winter”, which is out today!
It’s always hard to assimilate albums like this. One has to spend enough time ‘studying’ all the songs, all the emotions and melodies blended within the whole massive package, which consists of 75 minutes full of progressive and atmospheric black metal. Therefore, first things first: Do not rush with this album. The more you listen to the songs, the more beauties and treasures you will find.
Just like the album title ‘winter’, the album definitely took me to the winter season in which I felt the darkness and the cold breeze. I even wished that the band had released this album during the cold winter days! On the other hand, this darkness and the ‘winter’ vibe is delivered in many forms; the album starts in a quite dynamic way but as we proceed with the songs, we hear and feel many transitions and elements raging from the ambient/avantgarde sound to the dark post-rock/black metal sound which is accompanied with the dark atmospheric concept from the beginning to the end. Therefore, I think of the record as 1 big song in different moods and even in different landscapes, making it concept-like.This is not one of the albums that you will fall in love in an instant but as each song unfolds and progresses, you will get lost in different musical elements. One aspect I would maybe criticize would be the clean vocals in the record; it was definitely refreshing to hear the vocals but I think that the production was weak considering the use of the clean vocals. Harsh vocals definitely fit better to the overall style of the album.
As I listened to Disc 2, which is available in the Deluxe Edition, I was quite surprised! This portion offers us another 4 songs, which are less atmospheric but more straightforward than the main songs. It basically felt like experiencing the cool and calm atmosphere after 75 minutes of darkness ! Except the first song, the other songs and the general atmosphere is quite calm; the band makes small surprises here and there with acoustic & ballad-like songs, which I found quite nice and diverse.
“Winter” is definitely one of my favorites of 2017. It’s quite risky delivering an atmospheric album like this.The band definitely has a unique sound and they are not afraid to show us their interpretation of this genre; a mixture of darkness, melancholy and that atmospheric and progressive sound. Get it and feel the cold breeze.
Grungyn – bass, cries
Havenless – drums
The Watcher – voices, strings and woe
01. Winter I (Pathway)
02. Winter II (Penance)
03. Winter III (Fear)
04. Winter IV (Interment)
05. Winter V (Death)
06. Winter VI (Sight)
Disc 2* :
01. The Keening Soils
02. Sight (Reprise)
03. Penumbral Whispers
04. Temples Beyond The Shoreline
*available in the Deluxe Edition