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STEPPING AWAY FROM OBLIVION
LAST RITES ARE ADMINISTERED BY THE WRIGHT BROTHERS FROM THE ASHES OF FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM
DEO2, MARCH 2001
by SashaS

Fields Of The Nephilim flew the flag of Goth-rock when it was unfashionable and, despite still not regaining its rightful place among the revitalized genres, it flies high and proud again with the Last Rites. The new band is formed by two brothers, Paul and Alexander 'Nod' Wright, the guitar'n'drumming members of that Brit combo, that present us with 'Guided By Light' album.

The Nephs slid into oblivion when the singer Carl McCoy called it a day but the Wright brothers remained in the line-up that, with addition of vocalist Alan Delaney, transformed into Rubicon. Still, after a cult album 'What Starts Ends', the Wrights decided to take reigns of their fate into their own mitts with Nod moving from behind the drumkit to take on the vocal duty in the Last Rites.

"We are really excited with the new venture," Nod speaks noticeable enthusiasm, "and there is a band to perform it. The album was recorded by Paul and myself only, doing all the parts and it was time for me to decide whether I want to step in front of the band and sing or, remain behind and percusse. I decided to bite the 'mike' in a studio but we have found a singer, Rory (Garrett), for the live shows. It's all a fairly traumatic experience. I feel really apprehensive about it and can't wait for the tour to start."

Thus, another picture tells a lie: the artwork to 'Guided By Light' depicts four, a new guitarist and bassist; now, another vocalist, plus addition of a keyboard player, Garreth Torrington. A lot of people have successfully morphed into lead singers; wasn't it easier to get a drummer and do Phil Collins?

"Well, the record company thought it would be better to present it as a band rather than just the two of us. Then, the band wanted me to be behind the drumkit, there are a lot of pedals and we didn't want to have it taped because once you start it you end up putting everything else on backing tapes. That's not the way this band is going to be and it is most important that we play everything live."

Oppose sonic-cloning

Fields of The Nephilim formed in 1984 in Stevenage and have left legacy of classic albums, 'Dawnrazor' and 'The Nephilim' are highly recommended, as well as notching Top-40 hits with 'Blue Water' and 'Moonchild'. There is a track on the new album, 'Race A Train' (an ode to Superman?) that is bound to become a Gothic dancefloor favourite.

"It would be nice," Nod sighs wistfully, "but we well know that there are no guarantees in this business. We are happy to have produced this album and can only play it live for people and hope they like it. I doubt that the Nephilim fans will be disappointed and for attracting the new ones, we have ambition but it is not to get to the top of the singles chart. I wrote the track because I wanted people to have something to jump up'n'down and it was inspired by my visit to a club; I couldn't believe how people react to such music. Still, it is not far from the spirit of what we do."

Anti-lameness

Garrett was considered for a singing post with Rubicon but failed to secure the job. He's ready now, as the rest of the band, to take it to a broader audience but there is all this make-up'n'sex-appeal malarkey clogging the general attention.

"To be heard in such a market," Nod considers it carefully, "is something I can't answer right now but playing live to as many people as possible. And then see what happens. We have variations, dynamics, textures, covering the scope of extremes. We find the guitar market to be lame, nu-metal, rock-blues, Rocket-Goth, whatever, are really all stuck in a rut and we do want to kick it up the arse with the diversity we've covered on this album."

"There are some good bands, like Misery Loves Company, but I prefer not to listen to much music and have never heard Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach and don't care to. I find it is better to get away from it all and get to what is inside at the moment."

Journey into darkness is ready to roll but don't expect it to be over the river Styx.