Fen is something....unique. It took me about half of Trails Out of Gloom just to get used to their particular style. It's progressive rock alright, but it just seems...different. It's not heavy by any means, and it has the usual progressive elements, but it also includes a lot of acoustic guitar (with an electric backing) and several sections with layered vocals - which is not a bad thing, but it's something you don't hear much nowadays. As I said, different. Trails Out of Gloom has popped up on a lot of people's 'Best of 2010' lists so I wanted to see what the fuss was about, but I can't really follow their logic.
At first take of Fen's 4th album, Trails Out of Gloom, the vocals and the music don't seem together 100%. They seem to both try to pull the songs in a different direction; the background musicians seemingly wanting to go heavier and heavier, but the singer keeps it light and fragile. It's almost like an alternative rock band decided to add progressive elements into their sound without really changing their original style too much. It is a little hard as a self-diagnosed metalhead to fully acclimate myself into their style, even with me being a fan of varied genres and styles, but once I was able too I enjoyed it a bit more.
The album does take some time to get used to, but it is a decent record. I think people who are more into heavier stuff out there will be a bit turned off, but if you're a person who has never had a chance to venture into progressive rock, Fen would be a great place to jump off from. Their sounds are safe and secure, very easy on the ears, not a whole lot of surprises or shocks, but it all holds together well. I think due to my misunderstanding of their sound initially may have put a negative spin on the album - which is not the message I am trying to convey - so I believe that this band deserves a few more listens before I decide fully on their fate in my music collection.
The guys at Ripple Music sent this one too me personally, and I like the majority of their bands they produce, and The Ripple Effect, so I figure I could bang out a review here, for them. Because this is my first one I have to say that I'm going to be honest with my reviews - all of them - whether it might hurt someone's feelings. I hope not to offend (not so much with this one, but I'm bound to hear something I don't like), but if you're going to be in the public spotlight, you have to be ready for some naysayers. That's just the way of the world. But I appreciate the attention guys and I will be more then happy to keep it up for you or anyone else who would care to submit; bands, labels, friends of bands, etc. I have free time and I love music.