FEN is now unleashing the fierce video clip ‘Scouring Ignorance,’ the first single track taken from East Anglian’s forthcoming album “Monuments to Absence,” which is scheduled for release on July 7, 2023.

“We originally wanted to pen a piece from a perspective of strength and self-actualization, addressing the idea of literally scouring ignorance from the world through determination and drive,” mastermind Frank “The Watcher” Allain writes.

“We swiftly became aware of the futility of such a notion, and instead, ‘Scouring Ignorance’ confronts ignorance itself as an almost tangible force – an infectious, quasi-elemental power that sweeps across our reality. Enlightenment, reason, empathy, and rationality are scoured from thought by the corrosive nature of ignorance itself, willingly embraced by the hapless herds that infest this world.

This is a more realistic way to address the manifestations of ignorance swirling around us, reflected in the feverish gaze of foaming-mouthed demagogues and lapped up by the multitudes of the witless. Accompanied by one of our most intense compositions to date and placing the piece as the opener of the album, we feel is a defiant and determined statement.”

The color of any FEN album always provides a dead giveaway to its conceptual and musical direction. The cover artwork of the East Anglian’s seventh full-length “Monuments to Absence” features an abundance of the color red for the first time in the band’s history.

Psychologically red is an energetic color often associated with anger or warnings. And indeed, FEN describes “Monuments to Absence” as an expression of anger, hopelessness, and despair – anger at the desperate futility of a human species hell-bent on self-destruction, cosseted in a shroud of wilful ignorance with all of the resulting hopelessness and despair that this entails.

The themes of anger and despair are also reflected in the musical direction of “Monuments to Absence,” which is audibly harsher and blacker compared to its predecessor, “The Dead Light” (2019). Yet FEN have not merely shifted the balance back from the ‘post-‘ to the black metal part of their music. The English trio views “Monuments to Absence” as a crystalline fusion of all of the elements that constitute their sound delivered with power, focus, and intent.

That “Monuments to Absence” is undoubtedly FEN’s most extreme recording to date does not mean the band has abandoned their atmospheric glory with spatial clean sections, heaving doom, and full-blown riffs, augmenting this furious expression of despairing rage.

FEN took their name from the Fens of East Anglia when the trio formed in 2006. These desolate and bleak landscapes have left a deep mark in the post-black metal sound, which the band pioneered in the UK when the English scene revitalized with bands such as FEN, WINTERFYLLETH, and WODENSTHRONE coming to the fore.

When FEN released their debut full-length “The Malediction Fields” (2009), the band made good on the huge promise of their previous EP “Ancient Sorrow” (2007) by delivering a first album that already combined the black metal tradition elegantly with a dedicated atmospheric twist and gentle experimentation beyond the perceived narrow confines of their genre.

With each following full-length, from “Epoch” (2011), via “Dustwalker” (2012), “Carrion Skies” (2014), “Winter” (2017) to “The Dead Light” (2019), FEN have expanded both their musical range and following, while also perfecting their recognizable and unmistakable sound. Although not the hardest touring band, they have already performed at prestigious festivals such as SWR Barosselas Metalfest (PT), Damnation (UK), and Prophecy Fest (DE), and have hit the road with NEGURĂ BUNGET, WODENSTHRONE, and AGALLOCH among many others.

“Monuments to Absence” marks FEN‘s welcome return to a blacker and harsher sound. Red-hot anger runs strong in the East Anglians this time. Crank up the volume!

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Artwork: (c) Grungyn (Adam Allain)
Layout: (c) Łukasz Jaszak

Band photos: (c) Artur Tarczewski