by David Wahlberg
Mourning Sun starts with a moody and lengthy intro ("Shroud"). One thing the listener immediately notices is that, in contrast to Zoon, which is dense and thick, is the use of space. Classic Nephilim guitars back up Carl's creepy voice. This track is a fine intro and very moody.
Next up is "Straight to the Light" and "New Gold Dawn" which are more in the vein of classic upbeat "gothic rock" a la "Moonchild." I wouldn't have been suprised if NFD had written something like these! These tracks are something between good and average. "New Gold Dawn" is the weakest track on the album.
Straight To The Light [7/10]
"Requiem XIII-33" is like a modern version of "Celebrate," very simple but extremely atmospheric, almost ambient sounding. This is Carl's arguably best vocal performance to date. Best song on the album.
"Xiberia (Seasons In The Ice Cage)." Wow, this was a suprise; this is like Nephilim gone industrial or ebm. Not like "Zoon," but really electronic sounding. Can't compare it to anything in the Nefilim/Nephilim discography. Decent electronic song.
"She" is a slow track in the vein of "Wail of Sumer/And There Will Your Heart be Also." Emotional and good! Second best song on the album. Hmm and the guitar is very close to Peter Yates style of playing. And the bass intro reminds me of ... Rubicon!!
"Mourning Sun" -- Bombastic and epic track and the ONLY track featuring a heavy guitar. A fine finish.
Carl hasn't lost his ability to write atmospheric and moody songs and it sounds closer to the original Fields of the Nephilim than ever. If I was looking at the credit list for the first time I would almost expecting to see McCoy/Wright/Wright/Pettit/Yates there.
The good stuff about it is the atmosphere; the negative is the lack of a proper band. The sampled, sometimes choppy feel doesnt help the album and the songwriting could have been more varied. Carl really needs a real drummer -- tracks 2-3 could have been much better with a skilled percussionist. Also Carl's vocals are a bit too high in the mix. Although, all of this was expected!
But many moments on the album almost make me shiver with delight; there really is some the old Nephilim magic in here. Carl's vocals on Requiem, the dreamy guitars and various atmospherics. The sound is overall dreamy and hypnotic. Overall, this is the best release since "Guided by light" by Last Rites. It's good to see Carl alive and kicking. Fans who didnt like "Zoon" could probably enjoy this record. I guess the electronic influences will appeal to today's techno-goths ;-)
I will as a final score give it 7.5/10 or maybe 8/10,]. With better musicmanship and production this could have been really really good!
It will still be one of the best records this year. If you buy the album, make sure you listen through it properly, I was dissapointed intially.
The style would best be described as something as "Electronic/Ambient Gothic Rock," maybe.