Customer Review

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't quite live up to expectations, 16 April 2012
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This review is from: Ceromonies [Ad Mortem Ad Vitam][Includes Bonus DVD] (Audio CD)
Such was my excitement and anticipation for this release that I pre-ordered it when it was first announced quite a few months ago. I was particularly looking forward to having live versions of Wail of Sumer / And There Will Your Heart Be Also and Shine as well being able to hear a completed version of From The Fire. On receiving my CD / DVD set my anticipation was fed further by the enticing artwork of the outer sleeve and digipack inside. So far so good. First thing I did was to play the above mentioned tracks from the CD and it was at this point that my heart sank. Wail of Sumer / And There Will Your Heart Be Also is, for me, the best song that Fields of the Nephilim have recorded and I was hoping that this first live version to make it on to CD would add some new dimension to the track (I actually remember being blown away by this song when they previewed it on the "For Her Light tour") but was instead left feeling strangely underwhelmed. Over the years Carl's vocals have been the subject of many debates but to be honest I always felt they added to the character of the songs and, especially on the excellent Elizium album, were able to be both brutal and ethereal at the same time however on the recording in this CD / DVD there is nothing ethereal about the vocal at all. So maybe Shine would be better - Ok this track relies less on delicate vocal nuances but is still a song of light and shade, the vocal is less exposed on this track but again it just doesn't quite gell and that is, for the most part, the problem with this CD / DVD. I can't quite put my finger on it, Andy Jackson's recording of Earth Inferno shows that a Fields of the Nephilim live CD can sound just as good, if not better, than the studio recordings but Ceromonies just doesn't quite do it.

However, it's not all doom and gloom (except where it's supposed to be), there are some highlights on this recording: The version of From The Fire that appears here is far superior to the one that appeared in demo form on Fallen and leaves you wondering what that album would have sounded like if it had been completed. Similarly the live version of Mourning Sun is a real stormer and quite possibly better than the album version. There are, however, a number of continuity errors on the DVD (how many different guitars is it possible for the guitarists to use during From The Fire?) but I'll overlook these as the quality of the video is generally very good, very atmospheric and pretty much puts you right in the middle of the action.

So overall then? My expectations for this were very high, and rightly so as the previous live album - Earth Inferno was excellent and showed just what could be done, but as good as Ceromonies is (and actually it is really quite good in places) it's just not as good as I was hoping for and some of the songs just didn't work. Am I being harsh giving it only 3 stars? Probably but it just didn't quite live up to my expectations.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Apr 2012 17:58:27 BDT
Mark Broome says:
Great review. I personally thought this was a great live album. I also know what you mean about 'Wail of Sumer/And There Will Your Heart Be Also', although I thought it sounded fantastic on this album. However the best live version I ever heard is on the incredible 'Memoriam' bootleg. I think it's even better than 'Earth Inferno' because of that song/s and they also do 'Blue Water and The Watchman' as well. The sound on 'Memoriam' is not bootleg quality though, and it sounds as though it was recorded professionally. The volume is also great and it's not low like 'Earth Inferno'. Because of the low volume on the albums from 'Dawnrazor to Revelation's' I had to beef up the volume myself. Anyway if you google search for Fields of the Nephilim Memoriam you should be able to find it. Or go to Filestube.com and type in Fields of the Nephilim Memoriam, and it should be the first one that says FotN MEMORIAM, you can download it for free with rapidshare. I hope this helps you.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Apr 2012 21:02:32 BDT
Andy says:
Thanks for that information, I'll be looking it up.

Posted on 19 Apr 2012 20:51:33 BDT
Great and honest review. I know what you mean here,ive had many an expectation over releases like this which just leave that slight bitter taste. Im still gonna check it though. Ive already bagged my tickets for the sold out Halloween show at the "Bush" in October. Flour power.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Apr 2012 22:23:30 BDT
Last edited by the author on 19 Apr 2012 22:59:06 BDT
Andy says:
Draconian Times MMXI (CD Included) [DVD]

I'm not sure what other music you listen to but if you don't mind your g*th with a "metal" edge then Paradise Lost's Draconian Times MMXI DVD is also worth checking out. This one had the opposite reaction to Ceremonies (which to be honest is actually growing on me) in as much as I was slightly sceptical when ordering it but on playing it was hugely impressed - definitely one of the better live DVDs I've bought.
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