Nefilim - Zoon ©1996 Beggar's Banquet
1. Still Life
2. Xodus
3. Shine
4. Penetration
5. Melt (The Catching Of The Butterfly)
6. Venus Decomposing
7. Pazuzu (Black Rain)
8. Zoon (Parts 1 And 2)(Saturation)
9. Zoon (Part 3)(Wake World)
10. Zoon (Part 3)(Wake World)

After Fields of the Nephilim broke up in 1991, it is alleged that Carl McCoy paid off the other members of the band in an effort to acquire rights to the Nephilim bandname and image. While the remaining members of the band went on to form the short-lived but intriguing Rubicon, McCoy lay low for awhile, eventually forming Nefilim and releasing one album before disbanding shortly thereafter. Nefilim marks a conscious shift away from the rich aural tapestries of his previous band in favor of a heavier, more linear direction that has more in common with the plethora of industrial/goth/metal acts that Fields of the Nephilim helped spawn than any previous album. It’s also a trifle boring in spite of some decent moments from time to time.

While some of the trademark guitar arpeggios for which his previous band was known still pop up from time to time, the music, on a whole, adheres to an industrialized death metal aesthetic that has an atmosphere more redolent of a B-grade straight-to-video sci-fi film than visions of a mythic past. McCoy’s vocals, while still guttural, have been diversified to include some not-so-ferocious death metal growls in addition to his forlorn and range-less crooning, rasps, roars, and whispers. If one was to view the music video for “Penetration”, he or she would see that McCoy had traded in his cool Spaghetti Western cowboy hat in favor of one of those stupid-ass backwards leather hipster golfer hats that one would ordinarily see at an S&M club (is there even a name for those hats?). Still, the album does have some shining moments. “Shine” and the “Xodus” trilogy are reminiscent of past accomplishments without being outright derivations. The production is topnotch throughout, though the cleanliness of it all robs the music of much of its mood. The aforesaid “Penetration”, a raging stomper of a song, benefits from this, however.

I suppose if this album was associated with anybody but Carl McCoy it would have a much higher standing, but as it stands it is more of a curiosity than an essential purchase. However, I still find myself listening to it and enjoying a good portion of it, on occasion. Strange, that.

Review by Alec A. Head

Review date: 02/2007

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