lunes, 1 de noviembre de 2010

Fields Of The Nephilim - The Nephilim

Genere: Rock/Pop.
Styles: Goth Rock.
Similar Artist: Sex Gang Children, Bauhaus, Sisters Of Mercy.
Record Year: Beggars Banquet, 1988.

Of all the bands involved in Britain's goth rock movement of the 1980s, Fields of the Nephilim were the most believable. The group's cryptic, occult-inspired songs were sung in a guttural roar by vocalist Carl McCoy. Live appearances were shrouded with dim light and smoke machines, while bandmembers stalked the stage in black desperado gear inspired by western dress. The group was also one of the longest lived of the original goth rock groups, finally breaking up in 1991 when McCoy left for another project.

Fields of the Nephilim formed in 1984, in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, with an original lineup of McCoy, guitarist Paul Wright, his brother Nod on drums, saxophonist Gary Whisker, and bassist Tony Pettitt. The quintet played many live shows and released the EP Burning the Fields in late 1984. Whisker then left the band, just as Peter Yates was added as a second guitarist. Beggar's Banquet, also the home of goth rockers Southern Death Cult and Bauhaus, signed the Nephilim and released the singles "Power" and "Preacher Man" in 1986. Both did well on the independent charts; "Preacher Man" made it to number two, increasing the expectation for debut album Dawnrazor, which appeared in 1987. The album also did well on the indie charts, but later that year Fields of the Nephilim finally cracked the pop singles chart with "Blue Water." In June 1988, second album The Nephilim reached number 12 in the pop charts, while the single "Moonchild" made number 28. A live video titled Forever Remain was also released in 1988.

The Nephilim approached their second album with confidence and a clutch of stunning new songs. The resulting, semi-self-titled release blows away the first by a mile (the art design alone, depicting an ancient, worn book with strange symbols, is a winner), being an elegantly produced and played monster of dark, powerful rock. Even if McCoy's cries and husked whispers don't appeal to all, once the listener gets past that to the music, the band simply goes off, incorporating their various influences -- especially a good dollop of pre-Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd (think songs like "One of These Days") -- to create a massive blast of a record. Buchanan again produces with a careful ear for maximum impact, whether it be the roaring rage of "Chord of Souls" or the minimal guitar and slight keyboard wash of "Celebrate"; McCoy's vocal on the latter is especially fine as a careful, calm brood that matches the music. Perhaps most surprising about the album is that it yielded an honest-to-goodness U.K. Top 40 hit with "Moonchild," which is very much in the vein of earlier songs like "Preacher Man" but with just enough of a catchier chorus and softer guitar part in the verse to make a wider mark. Though the first part of the album is quite fine, including such longtime fan favorites as "The Watchman" and "Phobia," after "Moonchild" the record simply doesn't let up, building to a fantastic three-song conclusion. "Celebrate" is followed by "Love Under Will," a windswept, gloomily romantic number with a lovely combination of the band's regular push and extra keyboards for effect. "Last Exit for the Lost" wraps everything up on an astonishing high; starting off softly with just bass, synths, one guitar, and McCoy, it then gently speeds up more and more, pumping up the volume and finally turning into a momentous, unstoppable tidal wave of electric energy.

Fields Of Haze... Underground for all.

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