It's not uncommon for a band to knock out a live album at the end of a particular period in their existence (or their record label, for that matter). Live Evil heralded the bitter implosion of the Dio fronted Sabbath, Eine Kleine Nacht Music was the fitting headstone to the original Venom line up, Marillion bowed out with The Thieving Magpie and so on. Here we have the definitive Nephilim posse putting to rest the excellent Elizium cd in a fittingly sombre mood.
Question with the Nephilim is whether a live cd opus is a fitting tribute for a band that, in a live environment, are equal measure music and visuals. Also could the atmospheric core Elizium tracks be enhanced further as a result of being aired live? The answer is, thankfully, yes. Unsurprisingly there are no Bruce Dickinson `SCREAM FOR ME DORTMUND!!' heroics in this live delivery (this is goth territory after all) so it's all moody ebb and flow atmosphere and intricate music built upon `that' voice and some inspired and meticulous drumming from the Nod. The soft and luscious production doesn't detract from the pure power of the live performance but it does add to the dark atmosphere in such a way that sections of the opening triumvirate, starting `Dead But Dreaming', are so engrossing and hypnotic that you literally lose yourself in what's going on - I recommend anybody to listen to this driving a car on an empty motorway at night. These longer soundscape style tracks, along with `Submission' and the slow burn and building `Last Exit', are balanced off by the harder edged punchier tracks such as the single `Moonchild' and the Sergio Leone inspired gallop of `Preacher Man'. However as these shorter songs punctuate the longer ones they can leave a slight impression of stop/start through the cd, which can seem a bit incongruous at times.
Ultimately, though, this is all about the 'not quite of this world' atmosphere and the full listening experience rather than a warts and all, front row, baying crowd, in your face, live concert, and on this level it delivers in spades. So the extended frenetic menace and grunt of 'Chord Of Souls' is absent from the roster (which is on the the DVD version of this and which, personally, I think should have been on here) and instead the cd is dominated by the lengthy and hypnotic FGTH-Two-Tribe sounding Psychonaut, Love Under Will and the doomy but grandiose Dawnrazor, which rounds thing off perfectly in a fittingly apocalyptic fashion.
So an excellent 'live' experience to immerse yourself in and a fitting final tribute to the definitive line up.