Fellwarden was originally given life in early 2014 by The Watcher as a vessel with which to give voice to an epic, exultant form of black metal that nonetheless carries with it echoes of deep lamentation and remembrance. It represented the culmination of many years of searching for an outlet to tell tales of self-sacrifice, long-forgotten heroism, of principles defended unto death and the rearing timelessness of storm-forged landscapes against a backdrop of windswept extreme metal.
Sonically, The Watcher drew upon some of the most celebrated acts within the atmospheric black metal genre to deliver this message – Negura Bunget, Drudkh, early Emperor, Bathory, Summoning, Abigor and early Ulver – whilst also taking cues from the best that the epic metal scene has conjured (early Manowar, Atlantean Kodex and Warlord).
Digging deep into the most stirring corners of heroic fantasy literature and taking great swathes of inspiration from the incredible landscapes of the fells of northwestern England, the first Fellwarden album ‘Oathbearer’ was released in 2017. Six stirring hymns of billowing ambience, enveloping black metal and emotive songwriting, the album weaved epic stories of lost souls wandering weather-hewn crags in search of meaning against a backdrop of scything riffs, echoing choirs and pounding drums.
The record garnered much acclaim from the black metal underground, receiving high praise for its textured approach and enveloping atmospherics. With this in mind, The Watcher has spent the best part of three years painstakingly crafting the material for a follow-up album that not only matches the power of its predecessor but takes every aspect of Fellwarden’s sound to the next level.
So, in 2020, the result of this labour is finally ready to be unveiled – the second Fellwarden album ‘Wreathed in Mourncloud’. Epic, strident, stirring, powerful, sorrowful, this sophomore album truly underlines The Watcher’s commitment to creating the most enveloping, engaging atmosphere possible. Inspired by countless wanderings amongst the crags and fells of England’s Lake District, ‘Wreathed in Mourncloud’ howls defiance, regret and remembrance to the bitter grey skies.
Layers of distorted, clean and acoustic guitar intertwine with sinuous bass and waves of flowing synth to describe a relentless tide of sound – waves of riffs and melodies wash over the listener whilst the thunderous percussion of Havenless (also of Fen) injects rhythm, pulse and inventive dynamics into the soundscape. The Watcher meanwhile adopts myriad different voices to deliver his tales – layers of choirs, desperate howls and sinister whispers are all utilised to weave these emotive hymns.
To be released on CD, Vinyl and digital channels – June 26th, 2020.
Pre-Order now available: