Fellwarden - Wreathed in Mourncloud (2020)

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As a side project of Fen’s members The Watcher and Havenless, Fellwarden is one of those bands that delivers a sound so hypnotic and sublime that you get completely immersed into their atmosphere. In “Wreathed in Mourncloud”, the band elevate their Atmospheric Black/Folk Metal sound to a whole new dimension. For nearly 55 minutes the band unleashes what can be best described as a mixture of early Fen with Empyrium, split into six lush songs that are set to never leave your music player for the rest of the year.

The mysterious “Pathmaker” opens up with lush percussion and delivers a glimmer of light between the darkness. The clean vocals are nicely flanked by melodic guitars and crafty drumming, creating a very regal and yet dreamy atmosphere, just imagine Alcest meets Fen. The band’s aggressive side comes at the listener in full force with the ravaging “Scafell's Blight” with its moody tempo changes and dreamy interludes.

After the atmospheric interlude “A Premonition”, the band delivers one of the most amazing songs we have heard in quite a while: “Wreathed in Mourncloud”. A track that rivals Empyrium’s “Under Dreamskies” as one of the most dramatic atmospheric songs, combining blistering aggression and excellent tempo changes with lush clean vocals and an overall dreamlike vibe. The album's brilliance continues with the doomy “An Elder Reckoning”, a song that gives us chills from start to end thanks to the lush synths and vocal harmonies.

Closing with the punishing “Upon Stone”, this track gave us an Agalloch vibe but with the added finesse and refinement of some Post-Rock-ish / Proggy elements. As a whole, “Wreathed in Mourncloud” is one powerful release filled with atmospheric brilliance and the crafty blending of multiple influences. Avoiding sounding just like an extension of Fen, the band’s members truly carved a new and even more atmospheric sound with this release. If you are looking for a release oozing with dramatic atmosphere and a hefty dosage of heavy passages, this should be one of the best albums in 2020 for that.

Band: Fellwarden Album: Wreathed in Mourncloud

Label: Eisenwald

Release: June 26th, 2020

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Genre: Atmospheric Black/Folk Metal

Country: UK

Rating: 97/100
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