As if restless and beckoned by deep-seated callings, the English black metal musician known as The Watcher once again answered; this time with Fellwarden. Some two or three years after forming, with the release of their debut album Oathbearer in 2017, a new, lush inversion of black metal was welcomed into the world. Black metal, but reclaimed by nature. Harsh and incisive riffs now bound in blooming vines of that slow, eventual triumph.
In keeping with their relentless nature, The Watcher began working on Fellwarden’s follow-up soon after Oathbearer’s release. As the artist himself explains it:
“Painstakingly crafted over a two-year period, Wreathed in Mourncloud represents a windswept, bracing journey across the storm-lashed landscapes of northern England and the half-forgotten threnodies of the spirits carried on the gales therein. Tales of ancient sacrifice, of loss, honour, determination and holding true to one’s principles and ideals – all in the shadows of the rearing guardians of the fells that tower like sentinels above these verdant valleys.
“Musically, it is a celebration of the epic – fusing searing black metal with cinematic bombast, mournful reflection and moments of triumph nevertheless tinged with sadness, ‘Wreathed in Mourncloud’ both harks back to the early days of the second wave of black metal whilst simultaneously pushing forward at the envelope of what it means to create something truly affecting. The goal is to forge something overwhelming and enveloping – to draw the listener into our world of resplendent summits, shadowy crags and whispering mists, carried on waves of guitar, synth and rolling percussion.
“Ultimately, ‘Wreathed in Mourncloud’ is a journey into a realm of genuine atmosphere and immensity intended to resonate the deepest threads within us all as to what it means to be a human of honour and integrity. Join us and raise your fist in defiance to the iron-hued skies.”