by S. Schildt
translated by Martti Juhana Nurmikari
The Fields of the Nephilim have made a new album. Apparently, the time for miracles isn't over. I don't believe that many people still believed that this moment would come, after all the bands last original album was released a decade ago. The legendary crew of Carl McCoy (vocals), Paul Wright and Peter Yates (guitars), Tony Pettitt (bass) and Alexander "Nod" Wright (drums) broke up already in 1991, after which McCoy published an album with his new band Nefilim and the other members continued making music first in Rubicon and after that, in Last Rites.
The original crew was supposed to get back together in the beginning of this millennium, but personal chemistry didn't work and plans for future releases were buried. The record company Jungle Records however put together some demo recordings from these sessions and published them uder the name of Fallen (2002). McCoy, who was now the band's only member, quickly released a press release, in which he disawoved the album totally. In addition he announced that he'll bury the entire Fields of the Nephilim-name, because he'd rather go forward on his career than to dwell in the past. After this, the FotN camp has been quiet.
Apparently McCoy has reconsidered, because Mourning Sun is indeed and specifically a new Fields album. This makes the record a notable one, as FotN has since the Eighties been a valued and respected cult band. And not at all without a just cause. The bands best albums, Nephilim (1988) and especially Elizium (1990), are real masterpieces, whose unique and dreamlike atmosphere lifts them irresistably into the very best of gothic rock albums. The new chapter into the Nephilim-continuum has been waited with enthusiasm, but also with suspicion, because veteran bands rarely can achieve the level of their golden years.
From these standpoints, Mourning Sun is a positive surprise. Even though the original musicians absence stands out, the album contains a delightful amounts of the bands old trademarks. The plentifully echoed guitars ring familiarly etherically, and for example in Straight To The Light the bassline contains much of the same elements as in Psychonaut. Also McCoys singing, of which the band is probably most renowned for, is just as manic as before. The album, however, is just not repeat of glorious history, but contains a lot of the industrial tones found on the Nefilim project, as well as the disputed Fallen-album. The end result is a tasty combination of new and old. Even though there are guest musicians on the album, ha the realization of the songs mostly been on McCoys shoulders. For some reason the names of the other musicians haven't been published.
What's best of all is that Mourning Sun is, as a whole, an album worthy of standing with the their classics. It opens properly only after repeated listening, but in the long run one can only admire the breadth of McCoys vision, and his sense of style. The top moments of FotN albums have in my opinion always been in the end of the albums, and the new album doesn't make an exception: The song She, which resembles the old Fields the most, and the epic title song are fabulous mood pieces, which take the listener back into the same magical place that became familiar on Elizium. And boy I have missed it.
It's interesting to see where Fields of the Nephilim will go from here. In an interview, McCoy said that the might publish new material already next year. To a FotN-fan the future looks promising, because the band might visit in Finland on tour. We live in exciting times.