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Fen - The Malediction Fields CD (album) cover

THE MALEDICTION FIELDS

Fen

 

Experimental/Post Metal

4.18 | 50 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Malediction Fields is the debut full-length studio album by UK post/ experimental black metal act Fen. The album was released on the 16th of January 2009 through Aural Music / Code666. The band was formed in 2006 and released an EP in 2007 called Ancient Sorrow ( a very rare vinyl version exists of this EP limited to 250 copies on brown vinyl). They´ve also released a demo/ promo in 2008 called Onset of Winter. The latter features the track As Buried Spirits Stir which is also featured on The Malediction Fields.

The music is strickingly beautiful IMO. Ambient post black metal with lots of string sound keyboards and an excellent flair for melody. The basis is raw black metal with the typical raspy vocals and noisy guitar wall but there´s so much more to the music on The Malediction Fields than that. In addition to the raspy vocals there are also some clean vocals. The melancholic and slightly out of tune clean vocals remind me of how Jonas Renkse sounded on Discouraged Ones (1998) by Katatonia or the clean vocal style on some of the early Novembre albums. There are lots of clean guitar parts too which really adds to the melancholic atmosphere on the album. A touch of post rock. The overall sound on the album is grand. Almost monumental at times. All songs are of high quality but I have to mention Colossal Voids which is the song that has most clean vocals. It´s such a melancholic and beautiful song. The pace of the music on the album varies from slow to fast ( I wouldn´t call it blasting but close). I think the variation in pace is one of the strengths on the album. The album never get boring or too repetitive.

The musicianship is good allthough there´s nothing really challenging going on. This is music made to create an atmosphere. It´s not made to show off.

The production is raw but suits the music well. The drums are a bit low in the mix and sounds a bit muddy at times but it´s actually sort of charming. This kind of music really wouldn´t work with a crystal clear production.

The Malediction Fields is an excellent debut album by Fen. Fans of atmospheric and ambient post black metal should definitely check this one out. I´ll rate the album with a fully deserved 4 star rating.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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