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Fen
Winter
Type: CD
Company: Code666
Release: 2017
Genre: Black
Reviewer: David Loveless
Published: 5/1/2017
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.
About this Writer:
David Loveless // Dave's early introduction to Metal was listening to records by Black Sabbath and Kiss. Discovering Metallica's Master of Puppets on record at the local public library turned his world upside down. After spending nearly 24 years in Japan and expanding his love for the International underground metal scene, Dave (and family) now resides in the US. The savage brutality of Extreme Metal brings out the "Grim Gaijin" in him.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: FEN
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Carrion SkiesFen
2014
Greg Watson9/14/2014
WinterFen
2017
David Loveless5/1/2017


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: FEN

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