Critique

Dawnrazor:

When I first heard this I was utterly aghast! It was like a rolling nightmare of sound. I heard Ennio Morricone [Harmonica Man] The Evil Dead, there were songs about suicide. Preacher Man, Power, Dust; all were utterly exceptional. And then there was the title track Dawnrazor, well now! It was so menacing, slow, very dark and truly epic. Spaghetti Metal had arrived and its name was The Fields Of The Nephilim!

The Nephilim:

Well, what can I say? This album is fabulous. The Watchman, Last Exit For The Lost with McCoy’s penetratingly sensual voice delivering all of the song’s sentiments/passion. When I first heard Endemoniada I thought when the hell am I going to hear some vocals, then after about 4:33 seconds of musical foreplay we had the climactic vocal and all was well with the world once again. I did not like Shiva, and I hated [the commercialism of] Moonchild, but overall, a truly great album.

Elizium:

This is the pièce de résistance of albums. A masterpiece; the most memorable album [I believe] they’ve ever produced. I absolutely love it, all of it.

Zoon:

I really like Zoon, in fact, I love it. Penetration is my favourite track, it’s a dark frenetic masterpiece. What can I say about the epic Zoon, Pts I & II [Saturation], apart from the fact that it’s a remarkable track. Shine is very nice, I like Pazuzu; despite not being particularly keen on the first few times of playing it, it’s now grown on me. This album is how I expected the Nefilim/Nephilim to go direction-wise and I wasn’t disappointed. If you can, look on YT for the 1996 Sweden gig and listen to McCoy sing Shine; he’s just incredible, [unlike the musicians, who were not particularly good as was illustrated by their gnarly playing on Dawnrazor! Carl’s vocal was spectacular though] it sounds absolutely amazing! However, there one track on here that I’m finding difficult, probably because McCoy’s sonorous and mighty voice is just so good and strong on this album I don’t like hearing it sounding like a banshee’s vocal chords [sic: Xodus] cut through with a rusty chainsaw! Zoon is an epic tale about the Watchers [and the Book of Enoch].

Fallen

A statement from Jungle Records:


“Fields Of The Nephilim’s ‘Fallen’ is a fantastic album and Carl McCoy is a true star, an enigma and a visionary. We regret that Carl McCoy is not endorsing the album. Over five years we continually requested that he provide us with recordings and artwork that he was satisfied with. However, the struggle for perfection seemed endless and there was no sign of anything more ever arriving. So we owed it to the fans who’d been waiting for so long to exercise our only option, which was to issue these wonderful recordings.”

According to McCoy and the bands website, this album was “an unauthorised cash-in of unreleased demos, pilfered by the label”.

I have to agree somewhat with Jungle Records, this album is quite good, but only because it has 4 very strong tracks The title track is very good, From The Fire is wonderful, Subsanity is brilliant Hollow Doll [weird title] is probably one of the strongest tracks on this album. I love the different take on Trees! McCoy’s vocal sounds a little tired at times though, like he’s not 100% committed.

On the other hand, I do have to agree with McCoy as well, it cannot be easy to see your work grabbed out from under you and put out there for everyone to scrutinise. If Jungle really thought McCoy was a “true star” an “enigma” and “a visionary” they would have shown him a little respect and left these recordings well alone until such time that McCoy was ready to perfect them.

For those of us who love the Neph; we want everything [even if it’s a bit gnarly!] we can get our hands on, and Fallen fills the cavernous void left by McCoy and Co’

Mourning Sun:

And, just when you thought the vocal couldn’t get any more guttural [rusty chainsaw] along comes a shock…Mourning Sun. You may or may not like this, but I make no apologies here for my review; there’s too many people out there who pander to others, criticism is good as long as it’s constructive. I quite like Requiem and Shroud, these 2 tracks are the strongest on the album. I have tried to like [at least] some more of it but it’s just not happened. Straight To The Light could have been okay but the chorus makes it sound like a Judas Priest track, and they have always been shit! She [is too long, loses direction and focus] would have been much better without that whining chorus; the addition of which, kind of ruined it for me; remove them, shorten the track and I’d like it a lot. What the hell was he thinking about with Xiberia? It’s not nice. New Gold Dawn would also have benefited by the removal of [yet another damned] chorus; I mean, just how many “tomorrows” and “too lates” do we need to hear? The drums throughout this album are truly dreadful! The title song is just over the top, it has no fluidity, no sense of where it wants to go. The “Siren Sisters” are not that good either, they just wail, it’s not an ethereal spiritual sound. This album is too overworked, for me there’s nothing in it to like apart from the the lyrics, lyrically it’s biblical, Homeric! Such a shame that this work it is let down by poor over production, the preprogrammed drums and those awful choruses!

I find the choruses on [too] many of these tracks very hard to listen to, Nephilim have never really had a chorus in their tracks before and I hate it. I can’t fault the written vocal work though, McCoy’s message is quite clear, I would just liked to have heard it done differently! I really wanted to like this album but I was very disappointed with it. I know musicians “grow” and with growth comes change but this change [in my opinion] is not particularly positive. I have always enjoyed their work on the first play, this new album Mourning Sun is the exception! I just feel with this album that there was an outside influence at work here and its/their counsel was taken.

NOTE: I can’t understand the cover of “In The Year Why?


Summing up:

Where did it all go wrong?

I really don’t know what happened in the long years between [after] the magnificent Zoon and [before] the [frightful choruses of] Mourning Sun because these projects are so disparate! If we all coo about new material [just because it’s new] that doesn’t meet our expectations, that’s just being sycophantic. I will never really like this album; I am not alone, I’ve seen many comments on MS YT videos from other FOTN fans who dislike this album, I must also point out that I have also seen comments raving about it. I know negative reviews might hurt, especially because of the time, effort and soul that is put into producing an album after such an epic hiatus, I’m just sorry that I cannot be more positive about it. I thought McCoy had left that whole tired goth culture [that he said was holding him back] behind him with the arrival of the brilliant Zoon; then we get this? 🤨

Elizium remains my favourite album [musically] and I don’t give a fuck if Mr McCoy disagrees with me. It’s magnificent. I made a compilation CD of my favourite tracks and 5 of them are from Elizium, that speaks volumes about how much I like that album. I burn my CD’s using lossless audio [the files are very big] I only get about 9 – 10 tracks on one disk and 5 of them are from Elizium. Enough said!

Zoon is my 2nd favourite [no surprises there then!] currently; it could take the number 1 spot soon! Vocally, I think it is the best McCoy has ever sounded!

Dawnrazor is my 3rd choice, I love the title track, and Dust in particular

Listen!

I want to say to Carl, go find a quiet dark space and listen to this album againElizium was a masterpiece and I’d like to see the Nephilim producing more music with this distinctive style. From The Fire & Shine both have that unique sound and style…While you’re at it [Carl, sitting there all comfortable in semi darkness] listen to Zoon as well, the amalgamation of the 2 would be utter perfection! I’m sorry to say Mourning Sun just doesn’t cut it