When I heard the the Neph were reforming (albeit without guitarist Pete Yates), I was really looking forward to hearing some new material. I'd heard the Nefilim's Zoon and thought it was poor industrial-metal, a second-class Ministry. I'd heard Rubicon's albums and thought they sounded great but lacked direction and a focal point. So, what do we have here? Well, it's got all of Zoon's bad points, none of Rubicon's redeeming features and it's a very embarrassing stain on the Fields of the Nephilim back catalogue. The two tracks are re-makes from their indie hit EP "Burning the Fields". After Carl McCoy's "Laura's dead" statement (referring to the irrelevance of re-releasing their old material), this is a bit rich. Half of "Trees Come Down" has been chopped up to become "One More Nightmare". The vocals are replaced by grunting and growling from McCoy (a la Zoon) and Paul Wright's guitar sounds like it's been sampled off the original recording. Cheesy '80s dance record techniques crop up half-way through and the whole thing sounds half-baked. "Darkcell AD" is even worse. Did Nod Wright actually turn up to the session to record his drums (a highlight of the entire Nephilim experience!)? Again, half the song is missing, replaced by samples and silly noises. I'm all for industrial music, but this is rubbish. There's a synth bass line swimming around at the end as the song tails off to a sorry end. Apparently, Tony Pettit (bass) and Carl McCoy have been working on this since 1998. If this is the modern Fields of the Nephilim sound, I reckon they should cut their losses now before releasing an album. However, I will buy an album when one finally surfaces in the hope that, between now and then, the band wake up and smell the patchouli.
Why bother why bother why bother? I do love some of their work Nephilim LP being a classic but if I had a main criticism of them they have always liked to milk it with pointless remixes seemingly to make money by adding a few seconds or removing a guitar etc. but this takes the biscuit. This is a wasted opportunity to make the best of 2 of the earliest raw songs they made and they couldn't be bothered to make any effort. Here Fields of the Nephilim seem to want do little and expect people to buy or be excited by it. Originally Darkcell was never a song I liked at all but I could see interesting elements (just tiny ones) as they were forming their embryonic sound. Trees come down was a song which had promise and showcased their forming sound to better effect and promise but was too long and jumbled up. I hoped they could make the trees come down that Neph fans in their head could imagine on say Elizium, or a modern take in the way that bands like Killing Joke or Gary Numan have reinvented themselves. If there was a chance to recreate an old vision or add anything to these songs they've completely blown it. If I could pick out the points of these songs and modernise and mix them to their strengths (if any) I think I could do it better with time.... This is like they had a drunken jam in one afternoon and said oh that will do lets put it out someone might buy it for old times sake... Well dont its embarrassing and im surprised i even bothered to review it... im off to my own darkcell to sleep
Unlike previous review I like the Nefilim 'Zoon' album - and thought it a progression from some of the Fields stuff. Rubicon too were cool, though as stated above lacked direction - more so the 2nd offering. But this? Two tracks - both short and err nothing really. Darkcell has lost all it's power the brooding Sax has gone, if this had been replaced with decent guitar work then they may have been forgiven but what's left sounds like a bad cover version by a 'tribute' band. As for Trees Come Down they obviously recorded the sounds Carl made as he fell down a large flight of stairs. The track is a mess and virtually unlistenable! This isn't a CD which will be holidaying in my CD player on a regular basis. :-(
This CD is excellent! The brooding atmospherics and catchy industrial metal beats combined with dark distorted vocal serve to hammer in the complex spiritual inspirations behind the music. This is undoubtedly a step forward for Carl Macoy dragging his artistic vision kicking and screaming into the modern day and age. A heavier more aggressive approach is utilised somewhat in the vien of the Zoon album that preceded it. I'm glad that other forms of music are being drawn into the influence as opposed to just a reiteration of the gangley guitar orientated earlier albums which had the mythical vision but somehow were a bit to soft to pull the listener right into the disturbed soundscape. This may be the turning point where FOTN pull away from the static, hackeneyed, brainless, downright boringness of the Goth scene with so insultingly adopted them in the frist place. A breath of fresh air, along with Zoon, absolutely essential for anyone interested in genuinely dark music.