on 11 June 2008
This is an interesting album , in that i really couldn't get in to it at first . I must admit it did stay on my shelf for a couple of months untouched and i was left slightly dissapointed and yearning for 'the good old days' as it were. I decided to stick it on my mp3 player as i was sticking all the other nephilim stuff on i thought i might aswel.I didnt realise up to that point how much Mourning Sun flows together , flows together like the Elizium album flows together , and how hard it pounds in places , unrelentless pounding not so disimiler to the Zoon album . It was like some unseen barrier had been lifted (maybe subconsiously i didn't want to like it because the rest of the origional nephs Pettit ,Yates,the Wright brothers were abcent)and i realised this is'nt that different from the Nephilim of old . The cold sorrowful atmosphere of Nephilim of old is there present and correct , even more so in places . So now i have finally capitulated to this album and it never leaves my playlist.Go buy it and give it a chance . Im not saying it will change your life but it definetly gonna be one of those albums that you will keep in your heart and enjoy for the rest of your life.......probably
PS If this doesn't satisfy your need for all things neph check out THE MANY FORMS by LAST RITES ft the Wright brothers. That is another truly great album.
A decade ago, Carl McCoy told his constituents that "I AM The Nephilim!", and then promptly scuppered his previously prolific band's reputation with one album, two singles, and about ten live shows for the next fifteen years. Leaving aside 2002's "Fallen" (a ragbag collection of unfinished demos released by his former label), "Mourning Sun" is the Nephilims first album of new material in a decade.
The familiar cliches are still familiar : pompous and humourless, big hats, old Goths writing concept albums about something important like death and the afterworld, and whatever. It's almost as if you opened the Blue Peter Goth Time Capsule from 1987. The familiar black cover, the obsidian shiny art, the strained and ornate typography, the complete lack of any visual or musical progression since 1989, and yet - it sounds timeless. As if it fell fully formed from a world without time, and was opened with the gasp of escaping air like the Well of Souls in "Raiders Of The Lost Ark".
Of course, there's more to it than that. "Mourning Sun" is immense in it's sheer black-painted balls and it's stubbornly singular vision. From the opening, ambient terror of "Shroud/Exordium", which is five minutes of inocherently threatening mumbling (the entire lyric is "Closer. Closer. Closer. Die"), to the final, bizarre Halloween Metal ProgRock of "In The Year 2525", the Nephilim's latest release is the aural equivalent of a sulkily vicious Manga film.
Musically, there's little progression from the highpoint of "Elizium". The familiar ingredients : gravel-clad vocals, shimmeringly elusive keyboard textures, driller-killer guitars and a claustrophobically intense rhythm section, are matched with McCoy's economically inhuman, cold vocals. Lyrics betray little, if anything of a personality, and more of a philosophical concept that appears to encompass fallen angels, death, eternal life, love, and God's Mighty Hand. Imagine Johnny Cash singing this.
And whilst I appear to be hard on this, it's a record I love. Like "Zoon" before it, the songs are so complex, the musical themes interwoven so dextrously and coherently, that "Mourning Sun" is less of a record, and more one fifty eight minute song in ten parts : a rock symphony if you like. Sections rise and fall with the beating of waves, musical and lyrical motifs reappear then vanish, guitars cut slices through the airwaves, and a pummelling RSI-inducing bassline ripples like a Jurassic Park monster. And then Carl McCoy's voice, seemingly oblivious to the inherent self-parodiac nature of the medium, uncurls like God giving birth or El Diablo himself going carol singing.
"LOOK UP! LOOK DOWN! LOOK! STRAIGHT INTO THE LIGHT!" he implores, like some demented murderous clown doing a variation on If You're Happy And You Know It Clap Your Hands.
And "Mourning Sun" is great. Great to the scope of it's vision, great to the achievement, and great in it's ridiculous and overblown pomposity. Move over Axl Rose, a new primadonna is in town
on 15 May 2007
When I got this album at christmas I listened to it once and out it away. For a traditional FOTN like myself it was too raw, with many tracks appearing to have incessant drumming. Where was Elizium? A couple of months later I got it out for the car and listened to it, and for reasons I forget now, I listened to it again by which time I was getting hooked. This is a great album with so many layers that just do not come across straight away. It is an album, not a collection of 10 songs. Carl mixes the pace beautifully slow, fast, slow, fast with great use of harmonies. I have just bought the NFD albums, which are good, but you can see the difference. Buy this first. The artwork is as good as ever and it is constantly on in the car.
on 1 December 2005
Dear god, I never thought I would see another good Nephilim album again after the dross that was Fallen, relying instead on NFD, Last Rites & the Saints Of Eden to keep the flour flying. Resembling Elizium the most, but with elements of Dawnrazor, The Nephilim & Zoon it is a complete work rather than a collection of seperate tracks. Atmospheric, hypnotic, an album that truly is a grower, I've had this for a month now (don't ask...) and the limited edition release even has a case which is all black. How can anybody produce such a stunning comeback? Album of the decade all I'm waiting for now is Eldritch to get his finger out. Go buy this and pray for a tour.
on 28 November 2005
There are no words for how I feel.
15 years wait and it was all worth it, that might sound ludicrous but its true. This is something special.
From the opening Shroud with its choir and dripping atmosphere through Straight To the Light with its awesome base work and hooks, through the emotional She and into the title track Mourning Sun oozes atmosphere that no other band can get close to, no-one at all.
This is not new ground and yet it sounds new, there are a few little sounds and touches in there making it while certainly not groundbreaking, different, listen to Xiberia with some superb keyboard work as an example.
This is truly a triumphant return, Carl McCoy should be incredibly proud of this work, it is breathtaking at times, this is without doubt the album of the decade so far and i cannot see it being eclipsed. This is the standard by which all music is judged, and nothing comes close.
on 11 April 2006
This album is everything I expected and more.Beautiful soundscapes,intelligent lyrics Carl McCoy really knows his stuff.If you've never listened to a Fields Of The Nephilim album then try this one.The opening track Shroud really builds up the atmosphere with haunting voices and layered synths.Then we explode into the next track Straight To The Light with the opening line "I'll fly again".It most certainly does that.One of my favorite tracks has to be the beautiful Requiem it just transports you to a different realm.Xiberia is very industrial and experimental in sound and works very well with the rest of the album.Carl McCoys vocals are on fine form on this album and used to great effect ranging from mesmerising to meanacing.She and Mourning Sun although different songs meld together giving you a near 20 minuite opus ,leaving you begging for more.If you like your albums atmospheric then this is for you.I can't recomend it enough.Hopefully you will enjoy it as much as myself and go on to enjoy other FOTN albums as much as I have down the years.
on 22 April 2007
Morning Sun brings the long awaited return of Carl McCoy's unique contribution to Goth rock. Hailing from Hertfordshire, Fields of the Nephilim have been at the forefront of the Goth scene since the early 80s and still fail to disappoint. Managing to stay away from the stereotypical electronica sound, the album merges the different styles of music that Goth encompasses, using gritty but smooth vocals complimented by strong guitar riffs and solid drumming. You can hear where bands such as HIM and Rammstein gain inspiration from with the dirty rock and unlikely industrial tones expiring from the various tracks. The tracks move seamlessly from one to another although `Straight to the Light' and `New Gold Dawn' are the particularly stand out tracks. The real epic of the album, though, has to be the ten-minute title track with its gigantic, inspiring orchestral sound, expanding vocal melody and haunting piano solo.
on 19 September 2008
I've had this since it came out, and have only just started to play it properly, wasn't that impressed on first hearing as it really doesn't grab you by the scruff of the neck and shake you around like the early Neph releases does; rather it lurks at the back of your CD cabinet and then quietly posesses you when your back's turned. Carl McCoy creates evil, evil soundscapes, layered with sparkling sunspots and an upbeat mood despite some of the glum lyrics, and the cover In the Year 2525 is certainly interesting, with a punchy beat and Carl's growl even more disorted than usual.
Not an album that should be ignored, just give it a chance, and even if it does take you 3 years like it did me, it's still worth the effort.
After all, nothing worth having should ever be easy.......
on 12 April 2009
Some comeback efforts can be a bitter disappointment, a case of aping past glories in a desperate attempt to rekindle what worked 'at the time'. Others simply pick up where the band left off before the creative dry patch - Priest's Angel, Queensryche's Mindcrime 2 (arguably) and Celtic Frost's Monotheist fall squarely into this category - not merely another release but a step forward in the band's blood line. Mourning Sun is such an album. This is a bona fide, full blown, Nephilim album - total atmosphere, melody, drama, power and melancholy (OK, Xiberia falls dangerously close to Zoon territory, but not necessarily in a negative way) - it's all here in spades.
McCoy famously declared 'I am the Nephilim' and on the evidence here, I can't argue with him.