Released: 2005, SPV Records
Most metalheads are probably not aware of a band like Fields of the Nephilim. Personally, I had heard of the band, but never a single note of their music during their 20+ years making music. Fields of the Nephilim is the brainchild of Englishman Carl McCoy, who has been churning out music for two decades with various lineups and varying degrees of success. In all that time though, Fields of the Nephilim have never, to my knowledge, been mentioned as a heavy metal band, so what do they offer the casual listener?
Once past the suitably creepy and atmospheric instrumental opener “Shroud”, MOURNING SUN proceeds to squeeze your skull with the driving “Straight to the Light”. With a thumping bass line, pounding drums, jangly buzzsaw guitars, and grinding keyboards, it could easily pass for a more marketable Ministry song due to McCoy’s more palatable goth-growl vocals. Yes, it seems that Industro-Goth is the order of the day for Fields of the Nephilim. It is loud and driving sure, but it’s certainly not metal.
The rest of the album follows the same pattern, alternating between noisy industrial crush built for the dance floor and quietly gothic “deep” musings. It actually isn’t bad at all, and manages to be fairly entertaining at times, with “Straight to the Light”, “New Gold Dawn” and the title track being definite highlights. The rest of the disc is OK, but doesn’t manage to connect like the aforementioned songs.
The fact is, whether they’re a legendary band or not, Fields of the Nephilim are going to be passed over by most metalheads. I’m sure the Goth crowd will go apeshit over this album, but this is not their forum. Its good stuff, but it won’t win too many fans here.