Atmospheric Black Metallers FEN have announced details of their fifth full-length album which is set to be released on Code666 on the 17th March. Titled “Winter”, and produced by of Jaime Gomez Arellano at the Orgone Studios in London (ULVER, ALTAR OF PLAGUES, GRAVE MIASMA, PRIMORDIAL, SOLSTAFIR), the six-track album promises to be a colossal piece of work for the English three-piece, at once rich in sound, beguilingly delicate, and yet laced with darkness.
Consisting of six songs that are thematically and compositionally linked, each piece on “Winter” flows into the next, and, ideally, the whole record is intended to be listened to in one sitting to allow the full journey to be absorbed. Musically, the band have sought to push themselves further than ever before and Fen’s trademark use of atmospheric Black Metal and delicate, spacious cleans, has been married with aspects of 70s progressive rock, shoegaze and doom metal, with the intention of rendering ‘Winter’ as involving and as immersive a listen as possible.
“Winter” will be available in Standard CD, Double Black Vinyl limited to 300 copies, and Digital formats. In addition there will also be available a Special Collectors Box limited to 199 copies which will include the standard CD, an additional bonus CD, the DLP with Side A/Side B in a smashed splatter effect of transparent aquamarine and opaque cream, an exclusive T-shirt and poster, and a certificate of authenticity signed by the band.
Formed in early 2006 with the goal of producing Atmospheric Black Metal that incorporates elements of post-rock, FEN have, since then, found themselves at the vanguard of a resurgent UK Black Metal scene. With an EP, four full length albums, several splits and compilations, two European tours and numerous appearances at prestigious festivals under their belts, “Winter” is the band’s most ambitious, and yet most fundamental expression, yet.
It is an album in which, conceptually, FEN have returned to the roots of their ideology, seeking to embrace and distil all that inspired them when they first set out on this path over a decade ago – that is, to invoke the ambience of bleak reflection and ancient sorrow that permeates the mysterious landscapes of the fens of Eastern England. Frontman The Watcher has summarised the album thus:
“With ‘Winter’ we wanted to ‘return to the roots’ of the band so to speak but not in the clichéd, nostalgic way many bands do – instead, we wanted this record to represent the ‘essence’ of Fen in terms of tone, atmosphere and above all concept. This album therefore very much describes a journey towards sanctity and redemption across a landscape steeped in mystery, hints of forgotten darkness and sorrows long since drowned in the distant past. It represents the culmination of over 18 months of writing and rehearsing, pushing ourselves harder and harder as musicians – it is a lengthy and self-indulgent record for which we make no apology. Indeed, it is a fitting tribute to mark ten years of the existence of Fen.”
“The scene is set. Cold. Empty. Desolate. A figure stares solemnly across a patchwork landscape of peat fields, the thin wisps of leaf-stripped trees swaying mournfully in the icy winds that bite through to a man’s very marrow. The sun’s light bleeds in sickly trails from the enveloping greyness of the skies that seem to yawn like an endless, oppressive canyon above. Compelled by this vision of unyielding bleakness, the figure moves, drawn inexorably to… something. Solace, penance, closure or oblivion, the pull is irresistible, a palpable sense of finality blossoming exponentially. And with each leaden footfall, the freezing breath of winter calls louder… louder… louder”.