Fen
Carrion Skies


4.0
excellent

Review

by AlphaBetaFoxface USER (16 Reviews)
May 29th, 2015 | 159 replies


Release Date: 11/24/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Carrion Skies in five words? Atmospheric black metal done right.

It is always good to see a band who improves upon every release, Fen being no exception. The UK, post-rock black metal troupe have a lot to put on the table, and quite literally too. This record is 1 hour and 41 minutes long, so make sure you have a spare second or two because there is a lot to take in.

The very opening riff of the first track sets the mood for the entire 2 hours to unfold. It is grim and moody, but what comes next might surprise the new listener. The musicianship in this album is, for lack of a better term, groovy. Never overplayed, always simple, and always bouncing. This bouncy style of rhythm actually plays in the album's favor by first enticing the listener's curiosity, and then repeating until a listener is fully invested in the music. It is a fresh change from blast-beats, which, while not being absent from this release, are a very common tactical resort. Overall, the simplicity, yet creativity of the drumming is quite fantastic.

Fen's atmospheric approach to guitar riffs is very much present. At times, Carrion Skies will sound downright depressing, just due to the fantastic guitar play. The first minute of track two shows this incredibly well; the guitars cry to listeners through sustained highs and bends. Which in turn, brings to another fantastic aspect to this album. The guitars are not drop-tuned to the point of no return. The bass work is brilliant. Much like the drumming, it is never overly complex, but shines in every song. The bass work is one of the, if not (arguably) the best aspect of Carrion Skies. The vocals, while not very varied in scope, never detract from the music at all. They mesh perfectly with the other instruments and are truly frightening. The emotional force of the vocals in this band should not be underestimated, they are a very commendable performance.

This album takes various aspects of lo-fi black metal that contribute to the wall-of-sound many of us have come to love, and then mixes in clean production aspects of more modern, progressive metal outfits. The end result is every instrument is clearly audible, packs a punch, and yet all sound meshes together. It is a brilliantly produced record, and will reward good headphones or studio speakers.

This album is not without fault. It is remarkably long which in turn, is a blessing and a curse. While not a single song is below the line of greatness, there is a lot to take in and it can become tedious. There is only one track that is shorter than 6 minutes on the deluxe edition of the album. The average track length is about 11 minutes, two tracks extending past 15. But this record is a vast improvement on the previous Fen releases and a fantastic album overall. If atmospheric black metal is what you are craving, look no further.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
AlphaBetaFoxface
May 29th 2015


89 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

What do you guys think of Carrion Skies? Thanks for reading my review, constructive criticism and feedback is welcomed!

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
May 29th 2015


18058 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Saved me from reviewing this, good job pos

Digging: Soen - Lotus

DungeonBoy
May 29th 2015


5456 Comments


Sweet review. Will check based on this "But this record is a vast improvement on the previous Fen releases".

Digging: Flying Horses - Reverie

Keyblade
May 29th 2015


26638 Comments


probably their best album

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
May 29th 2015


10471 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Bouncy" or "groovy" certainly isn't a word I'd use to describe this but nice review. Album is tight

zaruyache
May 29th 2015


20387 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

People were really liking this album, but the production just didn't do anything for me. Liked their older stuff though so I should probably look into this again.

Digging: Forest - Like a Blaze Above the Ashes

AlphaBetaFoxface
May 29th 2015


89 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

TalonsOfFire, thanks, captain!



DungeonBoy, I believe every aspect from previous records has been improved upon. Everything sounds a whole lot more focused! And thanks!



Keyblade, I would have to agree there! Dustwalker and Epoch come close but this is just brilliant.



Gameofmetal, it seems to have more bounce than other atmospheric black releases I have heard! But it is a very damn tight album!



zaruyache, it is an oddly produced album, but one I have come to enjoy quite a lot. Give it another spin! Thanks for reading my review!

PortalofPerfection
May 30th 2015


1991 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@zaruyache what is your thing with "production" lol



Good review, basically agree but I miss how dynamic and versatile Dustwalker is.

Hawks
May 30th 2015


67739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hmmm never knew this came out. These guys have never really blown me away, but they're still enjoyable.



Will listen soon.

Digging: Wicca Phase Springs Eternal - Suffer On

Artuma
May 30th 2015


30111 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sweet review. definitely the best fen

Totengott
May 30th 2015


4223 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pos, nice review and definitely best Fen [2].

Hawks
May 30th 2015


67739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Gonna give this a listen when I'm done jamming Ghost Reveries. m/

Totengott
May 30th 2015


4223 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hope you like it m/.

Hawks
May 30th 2015


67739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah you guys were right this is the best Fen yet without a doubt.

DarkNoctus
May 30th 2015


10703 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah this album is fantastic

Digging: Vanum - Ageless Fire

Hawks
May 30th 2015


67739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

They really perfected their sound on this one. Nice to see that we agree on something Noctus. :]

DarkNoctus
May 30th 2015


10703 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

for once!



you need to listen to my album!

Hawks
May 30th 2015


67739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I know dude I been meaning to, but it's so hard to listen to albums on Bandcamp on my phone. I need to get a damn laptop.

Totengott
May 30th 2015


4223 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Glad you like it Hawks m/. And yeah they got their sound now. It will be very interesting to hear what they'll do next.

Hawks
May 30th 2015


67739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

For sure. Hopefully they can at least match this whenever they decide to put out a new one.



They release new music pretty frequently though so I wouldn't be surprised if there was a new album later this year or early next year tbh.



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