Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet


Trails Out Of Gloom


Nick's Picks: 06 “A Clearing”,

Review of Trails Out Of Gloom by Fen: Progressive! Original! I think not. Most of what I hear on this cd is musically derivative and lyrically weird. I have tried to listen in different venues and for more than six hours. I can find little that is new, and that doesn't rely heavily on fuzz bass for “refrain” emphasis. I guess my first clue to their creative talents would be in proofing their promo inserts. The musicians are as follows: Doug Harrison – vocals, guitar; Mike Southwortie – drums, percission (sic), piano (track 1 - “Trail Out Of Gloom”, track 3 - “The World Is Young”); Mike Young – bass; Jim Kwan piano, (track 4 - “Miracle”) . The first line of their online bio says it all, “An expression of loss and melancholic yearning, the primary goal with Fen is to draw the listener into a windswept and desolate landscape, bereft of hope.” And, believe me – they have achieved that lofty goal. I have to give this group some credit, though. They do a fine job from a technical perspective, and their arrangements are well-suited to their technical proficiency.

1 Trails Out Of Gloom Harrison 4:46 2 Through the Night Harrison 4:34 3 The World is Young Harrison 7:02 4 Miracle Harrison 4:06 5 Find that One Harrison 4:54 6 A Clearing Harrison 1:38 7 Queen of the Mountain Harrison 4:30 8 End of the Dream Harrison 8:15 9 In Your Arms Harrison 6:33

Just my two nickels ----------------- Nick

ARTIST BIO: In January of 1998, in the mountain shadows of Nelson, British Columbia, a creatorship was formed between two recluses. One had long hair, strange tattoos, and rode a motorbike and played guitar. The other was a tall, pale, librarian-type figure, with a voice that as easily terrified as soothed. In the summer of that same year, the pair displaced to Vancouver and found a rhythm section. Now, for more than a decade the band has been at work, assembling songs of a dark nature, giving refuge to the melancholy, the wanting, and at times, the disturbed. The debut recording, Surgical Transfusion of Molting Sensory Reflections, identified Fen as the only band of its kind on the coast (The Nerve Magazine), perhaps due to its nauseating rhythms and cranial song forms. A concept album followed, set in an isolated estuary. Entitled Heron Leg, this album left listeners both wondering and unnerved, and has been called one of those great CDs the listener can get into more and more deeply (Discorder Magazine). The latest from Fen, Congenital Fixation, is a Freudian-esque phantasmagoric acid crash into the subconscious. Drawing comparisons from Opeth to Faith No More, it features drum guru Randall Stoll (KD Lang, Tom Cochrane), and on bass, Mike Young of The Devin Townsend Band. This summer, Fen released their long-awaited fourth recording, a collection of lullabies and ballads called Trails out of Gloom. This is the band's first album under the California-based indie label Ripple Music.

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.