Fields of the Nephilim
Dawnrazor


3.0
good

Review

by menawati CONTRIBUTOR (79 Reviews)
February 20th, 2014 | 15 replies | 567 views


Release Date: 1987 | Tracklist

Review Summary: What are we going to do with this one Frank ? ...... Now that you've called me by name.....

A grating buzz-saw guitar riff echoes over the windswept landscape as five shadowy figures emerge out of the dust clouds and walk slowly but purposefully towards the camera. Their grimy duster coats flap in the wind as they arrange themselves in a line and coldly regard the young boy staring up at them from the corpse littered farm. Frank's icy blue peepers stare down at the child as he considers whether to blow him away.

You can do a lot worse than base your band's image on one of the most enduring portraits from movie history. Henry Fonda's famous villainous turn in Sergio Leone's masterpiece 'Once Upon A Time In The West' shocked audiences across the world on it's release in 1968. Goth act Fields Of The Nephilim took note of the strong imagery and duly adopted the dusters and cowboy hats for their live shows. Replace the dust with copious amounts of dry ice and the guns for musical instruments and you have a fair idea of how the band announced their presence on stage from venue to venue. 'The Nephs' were indeed an electric live act during their peak. This album, their debut, attempted to capture their energy and vitality in a studio setting. Sadly, the overall package proved to be a rather diluted representation of their latent power.

Not content to merely base their image and stage show on the aforementioned film this album opens with a piece of music lifted straight from Ennio Morricone's soundtrack. 'Harmonica Man' sets the scene admirably with its haunting abrasive guitar and slow crescendo but unfortunately the anticipation engendered by this classic opening falls somewhat flat as the band launch into 'Slowkill'. The song itself is a decent slice of mid-tempo goth rock which proved to be a real belter in a live setting but the lacklustre production on here renders it murky and soft around the edges. Throughout the album the overdriven guitar sounds are far too indistinct and lost in the mix which sadly pulls the teeth from a lot of the performances. The classic 'Dust', with it's memorable bass line and stomping rhythm, is similairly reduced to a leaden imitation of it's stage cousin. Front-man Carl McCoy's voice cuts through the gloom on a number of the tracks but even the potential of his deep guttural rumble is largely wasted.

This isn't a bad album at all. The Nephs ear for a good pounding melody and the partly successful application of a suitably dark and atmospheric soundscape go some way to making this a convincing debut. Maybe the neutering of their groundshaking live sound was a conscious attempt to make things more palatable to the masses but in any case this was largely a missed opportunity.



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user ratings (24)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
menawati
Contributing Reviewer
February 20th 2014



14482 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Harmonica Man/Slowkill http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rmUCPGrmvs
Dust http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UbiNKU227Y


Digging: Ian Anderson - Homo Erraticus

manosg
February 20th 2014



4666 Comments


Props for reviewing this album, I've only heard Elizium by these guys and I was planning to check Zoon. pos ofc.

One small thing only:

'One Upon A Time In The West'

'Once...'

Digging: Jan Akkerman - Tabernakel

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
February 20th 2014



14482 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

oh thanks for spotting that mate, their follow up was much better and some of their later albums are great

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
February 20th 2014



18168 Comments


Excellent review, pos'd.

Gothic rock isn't really my thing so I probably won't check this out.

Digging: Benoit Pioulard - Hymnal Remixes

RoyalImperialGuard
February 20th 2014



548 Comments


Good review/really good band although I haven't heard this one from them.

Digging: Sopor Aeternus & the Ensemble of Shadows - The Vampyre Sucking At His Own Vein

RoyalImperialGuard
February 20th 2014



548 Comments


Once Upon A Time also happens to be one of my favorite movies of all time.

EvoHavok
February 20th 2014



1207 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yes! Yes! Yes! Someone reviewed this!

Digging: Chevelle - La Gargola

CaptainDooRight
February 20th 2014



26289 Comments


Nice I think I've only heard one of their albums. Might check. Posd

Digging: Deniro Farrar - The Patriarch II

manosg
February 20th 2014



4666 Comments


"Once Upon A Time also happens to be one of my favorite movies of all time."

It's an awesome movie indeed. I'd like it to be 15-20 minutes shorter though.

Mad.
February 20th 2014



2923 Comments


Great review man, pos'd

Check The Eden House - Half Life if you're interested, it's pretty good and they take some influence from this

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
February 20th 2014



18577 Comments


Cool review man

Digging: Somos - Temple of Plenty

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
February 20th 2014



1773 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice to see this covered and of course a great review. This album is naturally a shadow of the greatness the band would become in later years, though is still for me a fairly decent album in its own right. A few suggestions:

"Vocalist and front-man Carl McCoy's manages to cut through the gloom"

Did you miss a word out in this sentence? It feels like it needs "voice" or a similar word after "McCoy's".

"but even the potential of his deep gutteral rumble is largely wasted."

Change "gutteral" to "guttural", I'm pretty sure that's the right spelling. Same for "palateable" in the last paragraph, I think it's actually "palatable".

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
February 20th 2014



14482 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

cheers for that linguist, I'll update as suggested

KILL
February 22nd 2014



67023 Comments


nice review might have to check this out, big fan of elizium

Digging: Picchio dal Pozzo - Picchio dal Pozzo

Arcade
March 10th 2014



414 Comments


remember an interview with this guy in Classic Rock and he kind of came off as a dick



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