Fin
Arrows Of A Dying Age

Fin actually play a rather original variation of black metal on the band’s second album, Arrows Of A Dying Age. The unique melodic sensibility of guitarist/vocalist M.K. , and perhaps the tuning itself, make for a triumphant, and almost life affirming form of black metal as opposed to inspiring the usually projected themes of hate, misanthropy, and death worship.  I compare the effects their songs convey to that of close-call survivors in war time.

The distant muffle of aircraft.  Your entire body clenches in dread.  There’s no way to escape or place to run in time to even pretend you’re safe.  Where the bombs hit is entirely unpredictable. Then 3 distinct explosions.  Sheer confusion and local chaos.  Smoke and dust hang.  There’s a brief silence.  As you start to relax from the temporary crippled state of being sounds of your surroundings begin to fade in.  Murmuring of exclaiming voices.  Punctuations of painful wailing begin to cut through.  Unintelligible commands from some direction.   But you are still here, having completed a personal reality check.  There’s a sudden exhilaration that you aren’t dead.  Adrenaline is distributing.  Flowing from the back of your skull, down the neck, into your hands.  Shuddering, and clenching a fist you feel a triumph of survival while surrounded by the chaos of war.

Fin write that triumph-of-survival into the melodies and into their songs. One might describe the melodies as similar to what you hear coming from Folk/pagan black metal acts residing in Scandinavia or far Eastern Europe but it’s not quite on the button.   Environment and place is absolutely a factor that comes through in music.  Being from a fast pace American metropolis of Chicago,IL  has certainly shaped the two members of Fin and naturally how they write music.  The product is devoid of fat.  Hell it’s devoid of some of the meat even, leaving only the most protein condensed loin or flank.  Not unlike the speed and condensed experience of living in one of the country’s largest cities. Eleven songs scream by with nary an intro, build up, break down, and certainly no meandering folk-ish passages.  “Outlaws” is the exception with a short intro that could fit into a 60’s western film.  Otherwise, the most you get is a four beat drum roll or fill into a song and it’s off like a serenade of arrows (if there isn’t a term to describe a hell of a lot of arrows being shot simultaneously then I’ve created one.  If there is already then I advocate changing it to be “serenade of arrows”) whistling down into a valley of trapped, horse mounted enemies.

Before I continue on with the review of this latest album I’m compelled to also heap gratuitous praise on 2015’s The Furrows Of Tradition for I assume not as many heard it as should have. Good god dang that record shreds!  Songs like “Bliss Apparition Of Sunlight”, and “The Furrows Of Tradition” are teeth gritting explosive.  The riffs inject you with a level of energy beyond which the average human knows how to safely expel.  Essentially what I’m saying here about Furrows… applies just as well to the new album.  In comparison though I find the production on Arrows of a Dying Age to be a bit more tame and the mixing is more blended than on Furrows… where the drums and guitars had more separation.  A certain harsh clarity between the spartan drums, guitar, vocal.  Evaluated separately the guitar and drums have very much the same overall tone and aggressive attack as Furrows… .Considering that I believe it came down to the mix and the overall smoothing effect.  The guitar covers a wider audio field where on Furrows… it is a piercing bright bolt which I found to be a potent weapon that made the album so unique, but could understand that for others might simply come off as harsh.

Production aside, the songs on Arrows… gallop out of the glorious past with the same fervor.  Riffs like sunlight refracting off of crude helmets and fresh arrowheads before breaking through the center of your face.  The snare drum blasting like a steam driven press in the waste fog of a newly industrial Britain.  All of these settings are brought to mind as I listen through “Strings Of Discourse”, “With Spear, Arrow, and Oath”, and “With Hammering Glance”.  Having been following the band I’m pleased to see that with the release of Arrows… Fin are enjoying a level up in recognition that is mightily deserved both stateside, and likely more so in Europe, having recently played as part of an impressive line up at this years SteelFest Open Air in Finland.  In some ways I might call Fin an American answer to Immortal’s Pure Holocaust if you remove most of the mid-paced or slow parts and swap ice demons for Scythian horse warriors that never once lost in battle.  Listening to Fin you might just find in yourself a strength previously unknown, not a soundtrack to self destruction.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Mars Budziszewski
July 4th, 2017

Comments

  1. Commented by: Juan Manuel Pinto

    Where is that second paragraph from?


  2. Commented by: M budziszewski

    It’s my own descriptive fiction


  3. Commented by: E. Thomas

    This a frigging great album. Sounds Like Macabre Omen


  4. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    the drum sound on this kind of reminds me of Woe’s Quietly, Undramatically: It’s all boxy and huge and pushed to the front of the mix. and the vocals are mixed like old Emperor. this is really impressive stuff, and you can totally tell they’re a two piece. I like that.


  5. Commented by: M budziszewski

    Right on. That Woe album I haven’t given time, though it seems praised as their finest record. My last two bands have been two piece so I have a certain fondness for bands that run lean.


  6. Commented by: Jay

    This really does sound like old school Emperor stuff. Great review, definitely down the alley I prefer for this type of blackened dementia.


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