Fen have long time been well respected stand outs in the resurgent UK black metal scene but at the same time have never quite reached the promotion and distribution of comrades like Winterfylleth or Wodensthrone. The band rarely plays live, but when they do they are always well received and “Carrion Skies” is a fine example why.
The two part opening epic of “Our Names Written in Embers” is indicative to everything that has made Fen so popular over the years. The sobbing lead guitar combined with harsh screams, abrasive rhythms and flourishes of atmospheric beauty over the first seventeen minutes is a cold but inviting introduction to a mesmerising journey.
Where previous albums like “Epoch” went down a much more caustic black metal route, “Carrion Skies” has far more in common with debut “The Malediction Fields”. The intriguing contrast of sinister atmospherics and underlying choral harmonies has once again become much more prevalent. The entire album conjures an image of a wet and windy woodland at winter.
“Carrion Skies” is an album of atmospheric black metal gems, every track here is a work of dark sorcery. Whilst many bands in this specific area of black metal began as pure Burzum and Drudkh worship, it’s been very pleasant to see so many of them develop into something so much more exciting than that and Fen, are no exception.