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Fen – Stone and Sea

Stone and Sea
by Erika Kuenstler at 01 April 2019, 4:06 PM

This year sees British Atmospheric Black Metal / Post Black Metal outfit FEN back with an EP entitled “Stone and Sea”, following on from their 2017 full-length album “Winter”. Spanning just under 20 minutes this EP showcases three songs stemming from their 2016 split EP released together with Russian SLEEPWALKER, so no new material. However, given that the 2016 “Call of Ashes II / Stone and Sea” split was fairly difficult to get hold of, this 2019 release of “Stone and Sea”, giving collectors the perfect opportunity to complete their FEN discography.

With the music inspired by the crumbling coastlines of Eastern England, this EP is full of raw intensity. Starting off the EP is “Tides of Glass”, a gently ebbing melody quickly transforms to a more tempestuous feel. This song waxes and wanes between softer and harsher parts, with the vocals also oscillating between soporific clean vocals and the more guttural style of FEN’s. Melding ponderous, pensive, and pummelling sections in equal amounts, this song is rife with hairpin twists and changes in atmosphere, tempo, and style. A doomy and forlorn section plunges the song into a morass-like quagmire before progressively building wave upon wave of sound back up again. Bookmarked between these two longer songs is the eponymous “Stone and Sea”, which forms more of a lulling interlude, and which gradually blossoms and gains momentum before bursting into “The Last Gravestone”. Here again we see the song ebb and flow between softer and more powerful sections, albeit with a bit more bite than “Tides of Glass”. Finally, a jarring and stuttering end leads us to the end of the EP “Stone and Sea”.

Whilst I’m one of those who didn’t catch the 2016 split, I must say that “Stone and Sea” did not wow me as much as “Winter” did. This added to the somewhat murky production left the music with a somewhat underwhelming feeling compared to what FEN is capable of. That having been said, this is still a worthwhile release, especially for fans of FEN’s older style, and does have some really beautifully done moments. And as previously mentioned, this is also a great opportunity for collectors to complete their collections. Recommended for those who haven't heard these songs yet.

Originality: 6
Production: 6
Song-writing: 7
Memorability: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Tides of Glass
2. Stone and Sea
3. The Last Gravestone
Grungyn - Bass, Vocals
The Watcher - Guitars, Vocals
Derwydd - Drums
Record Label: Eisenwald


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