Here’s another epic, atmospheric black metal record that absolutely triumphs in all that it sets out to be. Created by members of the more established, marsh-dwelling version Fen, ‘Wreathed in Mourncloud’ successfully brushes a magnificent soundscape inspired by the heritage and fables of the Lake District across your willing mind.
I have scaled Scafell twice in my life and often visualise standing at its foot with the majesty of Great Gable to my left and the stillness of Wastwater behind. This record is built from that precise moment and captures the solitude and the imposing scale with ease. The vocals are as if the outcrops and the misty shrouds can speak of times long passed – echoes of those that have been there before and those no more significant than yourself.
Music that transports you both mentally and emotionally is beyond powerful. From the opening acoustic swirling of ‘Pathmaker’ to the enormity of ‘An Elder Reckoning’, there is absolutely nothing not to like about this record. Just as the natural elements of these landscapes can change without a moment’s notice. so does ‘Wreathed in Mourncloud’. Add in the exquisite production and the highly accomplished musicianship, and the journey is sublime.
Solitude, grounding and the euphoric sensation of conquering all that nature can throw at us. These are the intrinsic strands of atmospheric black metal. Thankfully, they are all here and, even better, seemingly unbreakable throughout this record. This one is up there for me and, when I look back at 2020, it will no doubt remain as imposing as the fells themselves.