Chicago black metal duo Fin are very much alive on their latest LP, Arrows of a Dying Age.
Fin have become quite the point of interest, having popped up on my radar in recent days due to the release of their newest work, Arrows of a Dying Age, which, as the title suggests, is an album conceptually rooted very much in the past. Released April 28th via Folter Records, the album twists together the various complexities of atmospheric black metal with a more raw, traditionally grounded style, giving its historical inspiration a suitable flavour as a retrospective take on a modern genre.
The imagery this album provides is that of epic battles on horseback and the spark of blades clashing together under darkened skies, blotted out by close-set clouds of deadly arrows. A quick glance at the cover art may grant you these details, but only the music tells the full story. Make no mistake–Fin are fast-paced and aggressive, though noticeably lacking for the most part the blatant Summoning-style backbone that has become an almost mandatory element of black metal surrounding these themes.
However raw and aggressive this album may be capable of sounding, there is never a moment where the melody is not apparent. Much the way this album is caught between history and the present age, Arrows of a Dying Age is a child of two worlds, carrying the belligerence of raw black metal without its downcast overtones, and the melody and texture of atmospheric black metal without its characteristic repetition. This combination of elements is a very potent, albeit hard to achieve duality which has allotted Fin a unique musical identity and a captivating style.
This release kicks off in a dynamic fashion. Listeners may well find themselves mesmerized before the first track is over, drawn in and held captive by Fin’s sonic chimerism, caught between well-placed melodies and indefatigable speed.
Unfortunately, that hypnotic spell may wear off before the release really has the chance to be at all impactful. The album’s only serious flaw, its monotony, may prove to be too much for some. Though each song is memorable and well-written as a standalone, when these eleven tracks coagulate into a unified work of music, their similarities cause them to lose all aspects of their formidable identity and bleed together into a clump. A lack of variety is truly the only issue with Arrows of a Dying Age. If Fin were to resolve this issue on a future release, we would undoubtably have a masterpiece of an album on our hands.
Though Fin’s latest LP is not without its issues, it is quite worthy of attention from the beginning to end. It is an album with plenty of depth to offer to those who care to dissect it and learn of its intricacies. Lack of variety aside, there is much enjoyment to be had on Arrows of a Dying Age.
Arrows of a Dying Age by Fin was released April 28th, 2017 via Folter Records.