THE WASHINGTON POST, FEBRUARY 23, 1988
by Mark Jenkins
In a welter of mist and feedback, the Fields of the Nephilim seized the 9:30 club stage Sunday night. Garbed in black hats out of "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," the English quintet managed to sustain its goth-punk-meets-spaghetti-western image for the entire set. This conceptual purity was a mixed blessing, though. After a while, the concept became almost as suffocating as the incessant output of the smoke machine.
Still, the Nephilim created an imposing sound, and singer Carl McCoy's raspy, vibrato-drenched voice was appropriately creepy. Songs such as "Blue Water" could barely be distinguished from the general onslaught, but the funereal procession of brooding guitars and drums was frequently mesmerizing.
The black-clad members of Executive Slacks, which opened the show, could have been the Nephs' understudies. The New York quartet's booming disco-metal was as big and empty as a deserted ballroom.