by Shrike

If you're an old Fields of the Nephilim fan, then you've been awaiting this one for a long time.

The Fields of the Nephilim have returned from the grave. This isn't to be confused with the much harder metal incarnation The Nefilim; this is the real thing that ended after 1991's "Elizium." That was one of my favorite albums of all time and can still bring me to tears, so you can imagine I was looking forward to this one somewhat. So what's it sound like, then? Well, it kind of sounds exactly like they did back then except it's nowhere near as strong as they used to be. I don't think there are any classics on this album but it's certaintly good, perhaps even very good; the jury's still out. It's not an album that can be taken in in one or two listens. The production's excellent, Carl McCoy's voice is still as deep and deathly pompous as ever and the bass guitar is EXACTLY as it always was with The Nephilim. It's very similar in tone and structure to "Elizium," as it tries to take you on a journey from beginning to end. As such, it's the kind of thing that's designed to be listened to all the way through, which is why I say there are no individual classics here.

At 55 minutes long, it's the perfect length for this type of album and doesn't overstay its welcome. All that said however, its similarity to days of old is probably its biggest weakness too. There was a time when I lapped up The Nephilim and all that they stood for in art and music but listening to a brand new album thats trying to take me back to exactly that same timeframe despite growing older by 14 years can be a bit jarring. I've changed but McCoy doesnt seem to have changed in the slightest bit. It makes me wonder if my old heroes are to be respected for holding true to their values and beliefs, or whether they're just sad old gits stuck in the past.

The first time I listened to this album, I felt it was just OK and expected to put it away pretty quickly. But I've ended up playing it quite a few times since then. It's got that "Elizium" style of long journey songs that go from slow to fast and wrap themselves around you. The final 2 tracks here are almost like a repeat of the final 2 tracks from Elizium in that they play as one long track of several parts with wailing sounds and almost remorseful sacred lamentations. Sounds a bit dramatic there but then that's what The Nephilim were always about. I'm liking it more each time and I've no doubt that if I was 16 again, this album would probably turn me cowboy-goth overnight.