Coedwig Machen – EP Review

Coedwig Machen leads the listener through the darkest reaches of the Welsh forest it derives it’s namesake from.

The man orchestrating this chilling auricular tour is Fan. After releasing his previous E.P ‘Chapters’ at the end of last year and relocating from South Wales to Lancaster, he re-established Carpathian Studios; his space for recording and releasing under the Coedwig Machen moniker, and began the 6 month writing process for his next one man studio project; ‘Wandering Eternal In A Dreamlike State’.

The progression from his last E.P to the current is tangible. ‘Well produced black metal’ isn’t a sentence you hear too often outside of a few mainstream bands that have popularised the genre within the last ten years. It is especially rare to find in the underground; a distinction that the bass sound alone present here should qualify Coedwig Machen for. The crispness of the clean sections paint the glacial cover artwork in the listener’s mind with every eerie note. The drums are huge, every tom hit echoing as if being beaten to incite war in some forgotten temple; yet the overall feel remains organic.

The real highlight for me is ‘Hopelessness Is All That is Laid Before Me’. Despite it’s sprawling ten minute duration, it builds at a pace that allows you time to wallow in each section, and after a few listens reveals itself as a ridiculously catchy and well written piece of music that creeps into your subconscious and stays there.

This two track E.P is an oddly beautiful listen for a black metal project; retaining a crushing atmosphere of brooding menace, that rumbles beneath the emotional frailty Fan’s vocals cast over the songs. You can literally hear the internal struggle pour out of the man’s mouth as he shrieks and howls through this nineteen minute self imposed exorcism. This is one of the most interesting musical experiences I’ve had this year. Black metal enthusiast or not.

9/10

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