Fields of the Nephilim
Zoon


4.0
excellent

Review

by Robert Davis CONTRIBUTOR (158 Reviews)
October 2nd, 2012 | 17 replies


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A faster, heavier and more monstrous beast than "Elizium", "Zoon" surprisingly embraces Industrial and Death metal styles yet doesn't sound like anything but an album by The Nefilim.

It's happened many times before. Your band releases either the most successful album of their career, or succumbs to its own income and begins producing albums that either alienate their fans or simply reach their expectations each and every time. Fortunately, the former is the case with Fields of the Nephilim, who, after releasing a landmark album of the Gothic Rock genre in “Elizium”, lost Carl Mccoy in 1991. However, this didn't stop the rest of the band or Carl McCoy from making more music, as is more than evident on Nefilim's first and only album, “Zoon”, the Greek word for “living creature” or “beast”.

Right from the opening eeriness of 'Still Life', you'll know that this is a completely different sound to the clean, dream-like atmospheres that dominated the majority of “Elizium”, instead opting for a heavier, faster and nastier sound thanks to the overbearing crunch of Industrial noise and Death Metal aggression. Arguably the best examples of this new sound can be found in the album's shorter tracks, 'Xodus', 'Penetration' and also in the semi-satanic 'Venus decomposing'. The guitar work is monstrously heavy, the atmosphere is somewhat similar to that of a nightclub playing Industrial noise until the crack of dawn, and Mccoy's vocals seem to terrorize everything they come across, although not always that appealing. On 'Xodus' in particular, everything sounds as dark and disturbing as you would expect it to be, and even when the sound slows down into a more ambient, quieter one, the sound of melancholy and melody that haunted FOTN's earlier albums are nowhere to be found.

However, there is still a smattering of Gothic Rock here and there. The much mellower introductions of 'Shine' and 'Melt (The Catching of the Butterfly)' give way to Mccoy's cleaner vocals, himself trying to sing whilst still maintaining that hoarse voice all the way through. Even on each of the three parts of the title track (which for some reason, is split into two tracks as opposed to three), there is brief sense of harmony and solemnity, however much Industrial noise is put in to make it a different beast altogether. However, although Mccoy's vocals are undoubtedly diverse in “Zoon”, they don't always sound as nice as you'd want them to be. On 'Melt (The Catching of the Butterfly') Mccoy croons his way through the ambient sounds in the background, before croaking the beautifully written lyrics, “Now have your place with God/Innocence can be Hell/Of the perfumed and penetrated flesh”. As well as this, Mccoy often attempts to growl as fiercely and aggressively as David Vincent did with Morbid Angel in their early years, and whilst this does work well given the nature of the overall sound itself, on 'Penetration' it fails to impress.

What is most interesting on “Zoon” however, are the little things that make each and every song stand out on the album. The narrative work (which is cleverly marked out by speech marks when included with the rest of the lyrics) contributes well to the introductions of 'Still Life' (“We shall crush you, when there is no coming back”), 'Shine' (“We'll always be together, forever”) and 'Penetration' (“Seeing things in my whole life, images exploding”). This can also be discovered midway through 'Pazuzu' (“Look into the eyes of your creator”) and the title track (“Tune your mind, reach inside, peel away”), which is actually spoken in such a macabre way by Mccoy that it's hard to ignore against the constant barrage of crunchingly heavy death metal riffs and flourishes of Industrial noise.

At the end of the day, “Zoon” is an album that you will either listen to once and dispose of immediately in disgust, or respect its change in sound and listen to it a few more times to seek these aforementioned “little things” that truly make it a special album. It is an album that is successful for Carl Mccoy himself, in the way that “Blizzard of Ozz” or “Tyranny of Souls” were for their respective creators. If at all you can't stand Industrial music or death metal, then you would be advised to give this one a miss. However, if your curiosity gets the better of you and you feel that FOTN were missing something on their earlier albums, this will indeed be a treat.



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user ratings (16)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
October 2nd 2012


1922 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Recommendations:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n68unuv82pU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4Ru8zemU6M

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5xkzzQTWCE


A shorter review than usual, but I felt like everything that needed to be said is said.

Digging: Execration (NOR) - Morbid Dimensions

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 2nd 2012


16160 Comments


damn, lots of nephs reviews, is this better than their 2nd ?

Digging: Suzanne Vega - Suzanne Vega

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
October 2nd 2012


1922 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No, their second is better. "Elizium" an this album are completely different in sound. Then again this is more of a solo project by Carl Mccoy than it is an actual FOTN album. He split with the band in 1991 to form a project called Nefilim, but got back with FOTN in 1998.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 2nd 2012


16160 Comments


ok dude, will still check it out tho, have a pos

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 2nd 2012


6344 Comments


some suggestions:

yet doesn't like anything but an album by The Nefilim.

yet it doesn't resemble to anything but the FOTN character.



Maybe you can come up with something better than my addition.




It's happened many a time before.

It has happened many times in the past.


or succumb to their own

or succumbs

Digging: Aspherium - The Fall of Therenia

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
October 2nd 2012


1922 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oops, should've put 'sound' in between 'doesn't' and 'like'. Oh well. Thanks for pointing it out.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 2nd 2012


6344 Comments


Review - or at least the first para - needs proofreading.

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
October 2nd 2012


1922 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"It's happened many a time before.

It has happened many times in the past."

I don't know about this one, I do use the first instance more than the second.

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
October 2nd 2012


1922 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Review edited. Does this read any better now?

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 2nd 2012


6344 Comments


Yeah it's better now


one last suggestion though (i promise :-D):

succumbs to their own income

to its own

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
October 2nd 2012


1922 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ah, cheers

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 2nd 2012


6344 Comments


I must re-listen this album sometime soon, all i remember from it is its somber atmosphere.

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
October 2nd 2012


1922 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's pretty aggressive and fierce, but there are a lot of good things on here.

YUJOS
October 3rd 2012


955 Comments


One of the best atmospheric metal records I've ever heard.

Digging: Skaphe - Skphe

lostforwords
October 7th 2012


446 Comments


Very good review, pos from me
Kudos for reviewing it as well, it is a forgotten classic and by far my favorite Nefilim album (I'm a metalhead and I am proud of it...!!!)

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
October 7th 2012


1922 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha, well its the only 'Nefilim' (as in the Carl McCoy side project after he split with FOTN) album, unless you're shortening Fields of the Nephilim. But yeah, 'Zoon' is an excellent work, and thanks for your comments.

EvoHavok
May 21st 2013


1500 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love this.

Digging: DIR EN GREY - Arche



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