Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Fen - Trails Out Of Gloom

(To be printed in PowerPlay Magazine Issue 121)

Trails Out of Gloom is a hidden gem amongst the sometimes nonsensical world of progressive music that sees a collection of Porcupine Tree-esque melodies wrapped in meticulous sound-scapes of peaceful instrumentation. From the beautifully serene vocal harmonies of the title track, it is clear that Fen are something special - the drivingly melodic voice of singer Doug Harrison, with its occasionally strained delivery, perfectly accompanies the subdued guitars that comprise the album. Fen seem to have honed their rather softly delivered and ethereal sound to a tee, with the clunking pianos and fuzzy drums of 'The World Is Young' exemplifying the overall rather taken aback nature of the music. Fen are clearly masters at the complementary meshing of instruments - the soothing acoustics of 'Miracle' are brilliantly accentuated by the lightly placed bongo beats before the most miniscule of distorted guitars is allowed to enter the frame. It is this ability for subtlety that pervades the entire album and truly shows Fen’s strongest ability, only occasionally slipping into a heavier model (such as on the frantic 'End of the Dream') before returning to their instrumental restraint. Trails Out of Gloom is a brilliantly composed album that sounds half way between the cleaner moments of Opeth and Anathema, whilst also retaining its own unique identity. Fen provide a delightful presentation of mellow and erudite prog.

1 comment:

  1. Sam - Thanks for the stellar review of this record! We appreciate you taking the time to listen to the album and writing such an eloquent piece. All the best!

    John Rancik
    Ripple Music