Fen's Of Losing Interest reveals that in the two years since their last release, 2010's Trails Out of the Gloom, the band haven't been standing still. This album is a significant leap forward in terms of songwriting, vocal adventure, and instrumental interplay. Everything hinted at in the band's three previous releases seems now realized.
The band's sound has metabolized from having prog-rock, metal, and funky folk leanings to being a seamless blend of styles and sophisticated structures. Where previously there may have been a bit too much effort in stylistic juxtaposition, the band now wears their near limitless diversity like a second skin.
Extremely musical drummers can make bands, and I make no bones about the fact that everything on display here is top notch, and while there's no shortage of musical musculature to be found, the crafty drumming keeps this way above the din of today's rock. Of Losing Interest is a song that covers a tremendous amount of ground - it's a perfect example of the band's growth and maturity. This is wickedly complex, but it never loses the listener.
Nice For Three Days is a huge slab of powerful rock, and its bellicose crunch immense, but it stays solid and doesn't sound harsh, nor muddy. It sucks you in to a wind tunnel of molten metal and vocals that seem to evoke pleasant memories of the spirit of Freddie Mercury. Muscular and melodic - not an easy combination, and Fen are doing it quite well and making it sound very natural.
Fen is a great example of what happens when a band is allowed to develop - this is their fifth long player, and it shows that the group now has a great sixth sense when it comes to instrumental interplay, and Harrison's vocals are never at odds with the music. In an age in which success is a do or die matter, it's a joy to hear what can happen to a band when it is allowed to mature naturally.
Light Up The End slows things down with a pastoral acoustic guitar intro that soon gives way to some great dynamic interplay that should have fans of bands like King Crimson, Iron Maiden, and Judas Priest singing high praises for modern days. Modern metal that delivers hope and beauty instead of constant angst and anger is a breath of needed fresh air. Classic rock enthusiasts will have no trouble seeing the path from the previous generation to 2012 with this record.
Fen has finally come completely together as a band, and Of Losing Interest is their first major league record. Hopefully, this record allows the band to tour widely and to continue this stint of growth. The band is on fire - the guitar work of Harrison and Sam Levin is exciting, imaginative, and sonically satisfying. Harrison's vocals and melodies have improved significantly, bassist Jeff Caron is much, much more than a low end roar - his parts are great, his tone is awesome. However, as great as all the performances and performers are on this disc, drummer Nando Polesel takes this record from very good to near classic. Hats off to the whole band, and to Ripple Music, nice job fellows.
Fen - Of Losing Interest: Release Date - August 14th
Thanks to Fen, and Ripple Music.