FELLWARDEN
Wreathed In Mourncloud
(Eisenwald)
59:17min

FELLWARDEN is a British Black / Folk Metal duo comprised of Frank Allain (aka The Watcher, vocals, guitars and keyboards) and Pete Aplin (aka Heavenless, drums). Both of them also play in FEN, another British outfit that plays atmospheric Black Metal / Post Rock. So, one may assume that both bands could or would sound similar. And in my humble opinion, this was more or less the case in the first album, as the music style was not too far away from their main band. Now, “Wreathed In Mourncloud” is FELLWARDEN’s sophomore album and this time, they have come up with not only a solid album, but also they have distanced themselves from FEN in both, form and substance. Now, this kind of Metal is not exactly what I listen to everyday, but I do like it when a band goes a little farther in their compositions and especially, when it comes to the combination of different textures. FELLWARDEN uses atmospheric segments full of clean vocals, acoustic guitars and keyboard pads. Some of these parts could perfectly fit in any Viking Metal album as they have an inherent “epic” nature. And when combined with melodic tremolo riffing, fast drumming and high pitched vocals, the contrast acts as a catalyst. “Wreathed In Mourncloud” includes 6 songs, the shortest clocking at 3:55 and the longest at 12:38. Good news is that their musical output is interesting enough to keep the listener wondering what comes next. Production wise, the album is really polished. The calm parts reach the desired effect as they have that feeling of walking through a dense fog. I think the fast, more Black Metal – ish segments could use more roughness and edge, but the overall sound is rounded and the dynamics work very well. And I like how the mix accommodates all the different instruments, giving them the space they need to be heard. Which brings me to the performances. Pete’s drum work is really solid. He uses interesting fills and cymbal accents, yet he lets the songs breathe. Frank’s guitar riffing could use some variation and intensity when going full speed, but the melodic ideas and clean arpeggiated riffs he throws in together with the keyboards are simply brilliant. And both, his clean and harsh vocals work perfectly with the music. Overall, if you are into this type of Ambient / Folk / Atmospheric Black Metal, you should check “Wreathed In Mourncloud” right away. I think FELLWARDEN is going places and I am already looking forward to their next material. They made a new fan in yours truly. Contact the band at www.facebook.com/fellwarden and get their album from www.facebook.com/eisenwaldofficial

Alfonso Perez

Alfonso Perez

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