Fen - Monument to Absence (2023)


Just when you think you have a band figured out, they pull a 180 degree turn and unleash a very unique and different release. In this case, Fen is the band in question and the release is “Monument to Absence”. Diverging a bit from their usual dreamy and mellow style into a more ravaging Atmospheric Black Metal style, this release unleashes nearly 70 minutes of high-octane music with a proggier and very aggressive music.

Opening with a bang with “Scouring Ignorance”, the band quickly sets an intense pace with fierce riffing and blistering drumming. If you didn’t know this song was from Fen, you would think it is from a more ‘traditional’ Black Metal outfit. It is not until the more melodic passages are brought forth that you can hear the band’s DNA in this song. The album title track craftily brings the more desolate and melancholic passages the band is known for, creating a very immersive atmosphere.

The release settles into a trance-inducing mixture of blistering riffs and dreamy melancholic arrangements as “Thrall”, “To Silence and Abyss We Reach”, and “Truth Is Futility” roll around. Think of it as a mixture of Agalloch and Saor but with the Fen magic sprinkled on top. With some tracks having a more progressive edge, “Eschaton's Gift” and “Wracked” give us Enslaved vibes, creating a very unique amalgamation of styles.

As the release closes with the hypnotic “All Is Lost”, we are left blown away by how much better the band has gotten over the years, and even since their last release. Fen continually pushes the boundaries of their sound and have managed to create a very special and impressive release with “Monument to Absence”. While there are tons of signature elements, it's the addition of even more dimensions to their sound that constantly makes their music quite magical. Do not miss out on this release.

Bands: Fen Album: Monument to Absence

Label: Prophecy Productions

Release: July 7th, 2023

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Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal

Country: UK

Rating: 98/100

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