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Sleepwalker : Call Of Ashes II/Stone And Sea (Split with Fen)

Not Doom as such, this split between Sleepwalker and Fen is a thoroughly atmospheric, sometimes otherworldly, voyage.

'Call of Ashes II/Stone and Sea', the 2016 split between Sleepwalker of Russia and Fen of England is a thoroughly atmospheric, sometimes otherworldly half-hour drift from expansive universes to forested night-time mountainsides.

In the Sleepwalker half, drift down halls of neverending reverb, then float through universes that expand and fade by turns. The first track, 'Somnambulistic Trance', is built on standard Metal instrumentation. The third is a brief exursion emphasizing the more melodic possibilities in Ambient music. Production is digital and polished.

Fen's following half offers their familiar mixture of raw-but-in-a-gentle-way Black Metal with a dreampop sheen appearing now and then. They achieve a more down-to-earth ambience primarily via song composition, unity in instrument arrangement, and organic production. Their three songs seque seamlessly, sounding like one long composition containing a good deal of contour and dynamic variation.

Sleepwalker and Fen don't show enough in common for me to presume that these pieces were written specifically for this split (they may certainly have been, but I'd take it as a surprise). It's possible that those who prefer Sleepwalker's style might find the change into the Fen half somewhat jarring on the ears. Fans of Fen might view the Sleepwalker tracks as less substantial, basically an extended intro for Fen's half. Nevertheless, both parts are high-quality offerings and the merits of each band are in abundance, making this split a welcome entry into their catalogs and a good starting point for newcomers to either.

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Reviewer's rating: 7.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Somnambulistic Trance
2. Call Of Ashes II
3. Oblivion
4. Tides Of Glass
5. Stone And Sea
6. The Last Gravestone

Visit the Fen bandpage.

Duration : Approx. 35 minutes

Visit the Sleepwalker bandpage.

Reviewed on 2017-01-29 by Mark Rzeszutek
Aesthetic Death
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