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Earth Inferno

Fields of the Nephilim

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Album Review

One reason the Fields of the Nephilim were so successful at what they did was their live performance sense. If McCoy especially wasn't really believing he was carrying out religious rites from a long-dead mystic past, then he sure knew how to put on a convincing act, while the remaining four gave no quarter, turning the sometimes subtler edges of their studio work into full-on attack. Call it heavy metal by any other standard — it was loud enough to be just that, but instead of wannabe-blues wankery or Metallithrash, everything was suffused in the band's unique, doom-laden combination of earlier goth, Morricone, and aggressive prog, with the amps cranked to ten. Inferno, the Nephilim's final official release before their late 1991 breakup, captures songs from three separate 1990 shows, artfully combined in one powerful document. If the band never exactly performed a full set like this, then they definitely should have. Including three of the four main Elizium numbers in full versions — "For Her Light," "Submission," and "Sumerland" — Inferno also draws upon established past hits as "Preacher Man," "Moonchild," and "Psychonaut," plus album cuts "Love Under Will," "Last Exit for the Lost," and the concluding "Dawnrazor," made even more majestic and commanding than the studio version, if that's possible. Generally little is changed in the actual arrangements of the songs for the live venue — "Psychonaut" has a mostly full-band performance throughout, while slight alterations are also done for "Sumerland." In terms of fire and force, though, these takes can be considered definitive through and through. McCoy's wracked vocals are that of a man possessed, Nod Wright's huge drumming doesn't let up, Paul Wright and Yates' guitars know when to hold back and when to completely let loose, and Pettitt's bass provides the moody undertow for it all.

Customer Reviews

An inner-yearning

The live apogee of Fields of the Nephilim, pulling from the dust-covered western beginnings to the dynamic masterpieces of Elizium. My favorite thing I remember about this album was the CD itself: this mauve-painted disc with imagery and calligraphy shining through.. Along with the insert this is one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful album artwork ever created, only 2nd to their aforementioned album, a showcase of Sheer Faith's impeccable design. Layered text and image-compositing so common today, literally add depth to printed paper. Featured in the video 'Visionary Heads', 'For Her Light' stands alone: ethereal and potent, the band breathing oceans of beautifully-colored fog and becoming lost in a stage eternal. 'Sumerland' enforces what was so miraculously achieved, adding heightened keyboard cycling, pulsing bass drums, and an almost-liquid McCoy to the endless moment that is the Nephilim live.

Your rare good live album

The atmosphere found here is just exhilarating. Live versions of Moonchild for example feel far better than its studio counterparts. Live albums like this are a rare phenomenon, at least in my opinion because I find their atmosphere disrupting, but on Earth Inferno the rawness give it a unique feel that I forget us a live album...quite an experience this is.

Biography

Formed: 1984

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s

Of all the bands involved in Britain's goth rock movement of the 1980s, Fields of the Nephilim were the most believable. The group's cryptic, occult-inspired songs were sung in a guttural roar by vocalist Carl McCoy. Live appearances were shrouded with dim light and smoke machines, while bandmembers stalked the stage in black desperado gear inspired by western dress. The group was also...
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Earth Inferno, Fields of the Nephilim
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