The second first full length album by British Fen, “Epoch” was launched at the Bull & Gate venue in London with support from the old Corpse Road on the 11th of February 2011 and already gaining positive reviews in most of the magazines. “Epoch” was released in a standard jewel CD case and as a strictly limited – 999 copies – artbook edition with 40, and two exclusive & unreleased bonus tracks, “The Wind Whispers of Loss” and “…From the Mists”.
Following the acclaimed debut, “The Malediction Fields” from 2009, “Epoch” merging black metal, post-rock and shoegaze to express loss, sorrow, exaltation and a sense of ancient pride through music.
The band is named after a region of Eastern England called The Fens. The Fens have very flat and mysterious landscapes, with many marshes and wetlands. The band members grew up in this area, and find much of the inspiration for their music and themes from the atmosphere of this area.
“Epoch” is a perfectly balanced and surprising journey between beautiful, misty, acoustic post rock soundscapes with roots back to Pink Floyd or taste near to Sigur RÃ³s and explosive black metal outbursts. The constant struggle between this two musical pillars and their dialogue provides a special groove and atmosphere for this album, merging the day into the night, the sky into the earth and the summer into the winter.
Fen delivered something extremely unique and hilarious, but catchy, their draw many beautiful hooks in their music and through the dark and obscure layers there are always a subtle, but certain spark of light.
It might sound strange, but I definitively feel an absolute positive sense in their dark, sometimes quite melancholic music. Other black metal outfits have a quite depressive/oppressive, tenebrous atmosphere while Fen managed to sneak in their composition a discrete, bitter-sweet taste with a subtle sense of hope,release and joy.
Listening Fen reminds me more of Pink Floyd then of Venom, Bathory, Mayhem, Burzum, Darkthrone, Immortal or Emperor.
I recommended this not for conservative black metal fans, but to those who have a “third ear” and open mind to listening music without sticking labels.