Archive for Fen

B and G Podcast – 2013 Album of the Year

Posted in Badass and Grimness Podcast, Black Metal, Blackened Death Metal, Death Metal, Doom, Folk Metal, Heavy Metal, Pagan Metal, Prog, Viking Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2014 by Murderdeth

Seasons Greetings,

Here we are, twelve months down the line since our First Annual Badass & Grimness: Album of the Year with the next fine instalment The Second Annual Badass & Grimness: Album of the Year!


In this years goodie bag we have: Tyr, Amon Amarth, Fen, Watain, Satyricon, Carcass, Sepultura, Windhand, Orphaned Land, and a few honourable mentions.

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Fen – Dustwalker

Posted in Black Metal with tags , , , , on February 3, 2013 by Badass and Grim



Late last year when discussing English Black Metal in the wake of Damnation 2012, three bands were repeatedly mentioned as setting the boundaries of what is an exciting challenge to the Norwegian scene’s stylistic dominance over the genre. These were Winterfylleth, Wodensthrone and Fen, with the first two both having had great releases that year. So it was with a lot of anticipation I began to play this new release from Fen, the third and perhaps more nuanced of the three bands. Of the three they are the artists who I’ve had the least exposure to, and I had built up a pre-image of them as a kind of Agalloch clone. I will be swift to say that this was an incorrect assumption, and while they are definitely comparable, they are by no means apposite.

Dustwalker opens with “Consequences”, which initially reinforced my assumption that I was settling in for an hour long Agalloch style affair; which lets be clear, would have suited me just fine. We are treated to growling, tortured shrieks, weaving guitar harmonies, and a aching melancholy they share with their North American counterparts. However, and to its benefit, from the second track forward there is a more distinctive “Fen” style. “Hands of Dust” clears the air after the storm of the opening track, with clear melodic vocals, and a more understated approach. Minimalism is the watchword here, with drawn out guitars lines which build from clean to distorted as the track progresses, at times reminding me of Isis or Pelican.

“Spectre” is a meandering folk influenced track, with swells of tremolo guitars dripping in presence, and it’s at about this point I’m beginning to understand that what this album is really excelling at is atmosphere building. Dustwalker is a fog of sound, creeping out from the wild, morose landscapes from which the band take their name. There is no attempt here to bow you over with the power of the riff, instead you are subtly and intoxicatingly led into the deserted wilderness this album creates. “Wolf Sun” kicks in with a little more pace than the previous tracks, and a nod towards post-rock. There’re some really interesting chord progressions and vocal harmonies here, and the change of tempo helps to keep the album moving. “The Black Sound” continues to pull us along the windswept and forgotten path which is concluded in style by closing track “Walking the Crowpath”.

I recommend this to anyone who enjoys the atmospheric side of Black Metal, and is more interested in mood than face-melting. Fen are awesome in their own right, and add a depth to the mighty black tower currently being built by this new surge of English BM.