Atmospheric post-black metal at it's best!
Many bands are doing the post-black metal thing now. If done right, it’s a very rewarding experience, but if done wrong, it can be the most boring sub-genre of metal that ever existed. As a huge fan of post-black metal, I always keep an open mind when listening to a new release – usually fearing the worst and hardly ever getting the ear candy that I expect. That being said, some bands just have “it”. London, England’s Fen certainly has “it” when it comes to mastering the post-black metal sound. I first got into Fen with their 2nd full-length album, 2011’s Epoch. That album contained everything you’d expect from a post-black metal release; harsh and clean vocals, epic song lengths, the sounds of extreme black metal, as well as the lighter side of post rock/metal. They just know how to deliver the goods. Fast-forward to 2017 and the release of their 5th album, Winter. Clocking in at around 75 minutes and containing just 6 songs (titled I-VI in Roman Numerals), 'Winter' is a massive helping of impeccable metal that should garner fans of multiple genres of metal.
Instead of picking apart each song in this review (like I normally do), I’ll instead just say that this album is meant to be listened to from start to finish. Each song flows seamlessly into the next, taking you on a journey into the wintery realms of the unknown. Hats off to the production effort as well. Although the production sounds clean (and not too polished), it almost sounds as if this album was recorded live, adding to the mystique of their delivery. The harsh vocals are some of the best in the bands history and the songwriting is very diverse, although sticking closely to the post-black metal arena.
Without a doubt, Fen has done it again. They’ve produced another slab of epic post-black metal that will please old and new fans alike. Even if you’re not a fan of Black Metal, I would still recommend Winter, as it is full of surprises.