Fields Of The Nephilim


The Nephilim

Fields Of The Nephilim - The Nephilim ©1988 Beggar's Banquet/RCA
1. Endemoniada
2. The Watchman
3. Phobia
4. Moonchild
5. Chord Of Souls
6. Shiva
7. Celebrate
8. Love Under Will
9. Last Exit For The Lost

One of the most influential yet seemingly unheard bands of the 80s has to be Fields of the Nephilim. Their unique sound and approach can still be heard in bands such as Mindrot and Morgion. Many other bands refer to them as an inspiration. The Nephilim, at least for me, is a definitive record that aptly captures just what it is that this band does.

All at once brooding like a lover spurned and lurking like a stalker in the forest, The Nephilim is the sort of record that is equally at place being played quietly at night while you read a book or in your car driving across the plains. The band's ability to weave sensual bass lines and a distant-sounding guitar in the background is remarkable. Moods will be affected by their music and occasional rapture can occur. Carl McCoy's low, nearly whispered voice is a bit odd to deal with at first, but over the years since first hearing this album I've certainly gotten used to it. "Moonchild" is certainly the most defining track on the album, while quiet, contemplative tracks like "Love Under Will" help round out the band's sound. The Nephilim is one of the best dark albums to be released in the 80s and most certainly requires your attention.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 03/2000

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Elizium

Fields Of The Nephilim - Elizium ©1990 Beggar's Banquet
1. (Dead But Dreaming)
2. For Her Light
3. At The Gates Of Silent Memory
4. (Paradise Regained)
5. Submission
6. Sumerland (what Dreams May Come)
7. Wail Of Sumer
8. And There Will Your Heart Be Also

Fields of the Nephilim are one of those bands who do nothing outwardly catchy or immediate, yet they are something that grows on you insidiously over time until they become something you utterly enjoy. While Elizium is not my favorite Fields record I own, there is something in its unique dreamy structure and atmosphere that continually but quietly impresses me with each listen. In comparison to 1988's The Nephilim, Elizium offers a similar musical backdrop but more "sung" vocals from Carl McCoy and less of the low rough whispering he did in the past. The songs tend to blend together seemlessly, providing a more sustained atmosphere than ever before. The first few tracks work in complete harmony with one another, moving the listener through the motif of the band's work and blurring the lines of how individual songs are supposed to work in orthodox rock song structure. The production allows for the music to seem as though it's existing on a vast plain, echoing and spacious. Tracks like "At the Gates of Silent Memory" and "Sumerland (What Dreams May Come)" are moody, expressive and expansive, but most of all, memorable. As with "Last Exit for the Lost" from The Nephilim, the emphasis seems to be on slowly creating and sustaining a mood.

Elizium is not the first place I'd direct a new Fields of the Nephilim curious, but it definitely deserve high praise as a good continuation of the sound the band developed over the years.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/2000

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Earth Inferno

Fields Of The Nephilim - Earth Inferno ©1991 Beggar's Banquet
1. Intro (Dead But Dreaming)
2. Moonchild
3. Submission
4. Preacher Man
5. Love Under Will
6. Sumerland
7. Last Exit For The Lost
8. Psychonaut
9. Dawnrazor

Live albums are almost always an iffy proposition. I have never been one to fully judge a band on the basis of how well they are able to recreate the music they record in the studio in a live environment, but it’s definitely an added bonus if they are able to do so with gusto. It is, therefore, with great pleasure that Fields of the Nephilim’s final recorded output before their 1991 dissolution is one of the better live albums created by any band, not to mention a fantastic album in its own right.

Mixed by frequent Pink Floyd producer/engineer Andy Jackson, Earth Inferno was culled from three separate performances during the band’s tour in support of Elizium. The material spans all three of The Nephilim’s albums, with nearly all of the songs being identical to their studio counterparts (although “Sumerland” has a slightly modified chorus). The surprising thing is not how well the band was able to recreate the songs live, but the fact that the lush and eerie atmosphere of their music was kept entirely intact. One can also argue that many of the songs were enhanced by the benefit of the energy a live performance. Paul Wright and Yates’ trademark atmospheric noodling was as evocative of ancient times and otherworldly places as ever, and the always capable rhythm section of Nod Wright and Tony Pettitt (one of the more underappreciated in rock history, for sure) propels the songs forward like no other. Most of all, Carl McCoy’s truly bizarre vocals and presence paint him as the ultimate frontman, never stealing the thunder from his bandmates but still acting as a sort of catalyst for the vision of the band. His performance on “Dawnrazor” is especially effective. “Submission” takes on an almost gospel quality in a live environment, and the album’s high point, a performance of the b-side “Psychonaut”, is simply a wonder to behold.

With the glut of awful live albums available, it is worth noting that Earth Inferno plays as consistently as any of The Nephilim’s studio albums, with the in-between-song cheering creating an almost ritualistic atmosphere that does naught but serve the band’s vision. The only downside to the album is that it probably doesn’t hold a candle to actually being present at any one of the three concerts from which the material was derived. For a band to go out on such a high note is a wonderful thing indeed.

Review by Alec A. Head

Review date: 02/2007

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Revelations

Fields Of The Nephilim - Revelations ©1993 Beggar's Banquet
CD one:
1. Moonchild
2. Chord Of Souls
3. Last Exit For The Lost
4. Preacher Man
5. Love Under Will
6. Power
7. Psychonaut Lib 111
8. For Her Light
9. Blue Water
10. Vet For The Insane
11. Watchman
12. Dawnrazor (live)
CD two:
13. Submission Two (the Dub Posture)
14. Preacher Man (contaminated Mix)
15. Celebrate (second Seal)
16. Shiva
17. Psychonaut Lib 1
18. In Every Dream Home A Heartache
19. Moonchild (unsealed)

Whether you find the one or two disc version of Revelations, this collection of the best of Fields of the Nephilim is both valuable for longtime fans and the curious who might not know where to start for this highly influential and unique spaghetti goth band. The collection features songs from throughout their entire history as well as the bonus disc (on some release versions) of alternate mixes. The result is a great introduction to the band or companion for those who are already into Fields.

The band's sense of atmosphere and mood is one of the most highly developed and has been highly influential throughout goth and metal music. "The Last Exit For the Lost" is perhaps one of the band's signature pieces that best defines what they do best. The build in both tempo and mood perfectly captures the essence of this band. The compilation works very well as a whole because throughout the band's existence, they were able to retain that certain atmosphere and dark mystique. Fields of the Nephilim are the type of band a listener can be fully consumed by and Revelations does a masterful job of that. Haunting, hypnotic and beautiful, this compilation captures the band's best moments throughout the years. Whether you are a newcomer to the band or a longtime fanatic, Revelations is an excellent "best of" package that deserves all the praise one can heap upon the band.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 09/2000

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