Rating:
8.5
Fields Of The Nephilim - Zoon
October 1996


01. Still Life
02. Xodus
03. Shine
04. Penetration
05. Melt (The Catching Of The Butterfly)
06. Venus Decomposing
07. Pazuzu (Black Rain)
08. Zoon (Pts. 1 & 2) (Saturation)
09. Zoon (Pt. 3) (Wake World)
10. Coma


After leaving the Fields Of The Nephilim (but while holding the rights to the name), the band's vocalist and main composer, Carl McCoy went into hibernation for a good 5 years. Its a shame as were he to make a follow up to 1991's excellent, critically acclaimed "Elizium", his career would likely rocket. Unfortunately, this didn't happen and after a 5 year hiatus McCoy found himself facing a very different world of music. A world that required something more brutal than anything he has done before.

And brutal "Zoon" is. Damn! What a surprise it was for me when I first heard this album! "Elizium" was a wonderfully lush and subtle experience and I was expecting a continuation of this style. Instead, I got hit over the head with a double-bass blast. And then another one. Ouch! McCoy also adapted a very raspy vocal delivery for this album, often sounding like a complete death metal grunter. As a result of all this, "Zoon" will seem like a raw slab of extreme noise for the first time that we listen to it - seemingly something completely disconnected from what the Fields were doing (I mean, they weren't even metal, for starters). Nonetheless, as we get more used to this stuff, we will be able to draw some parallels and realize the logical progression that McCoy undertook between this album and the previous one. Indeed, the few subtle moments of this album sound even more impressive now that they are surrounded by the aggressive sections. For this reason, most memorable are those tracks that feature both these elements. "Xodus", "Shine" and "Melt" are such tracks, while the 3rd part of "Zoon" is simply hands down the best gothic metal track ever recorded and must be heard by anyone calling themselves a fan of the style. The other tracks are generally very aggressive thrash/death metal numbers with slight gothic overtones. "Pazuzu" is the best such track as it has a killer riff and a very impressive, technical mid-section. Naturally, with McCoy writing this stuff, we can be pretty sure the lyrics are going to be top-notch and we are not let down here. Anyone interested in Sumerian lore, chaos magick, Alistair Crowley etc. will find the lyrics on "Zoon" extremely inspiring as they tell the story of the goddess Inanna's descent to the underworld. Beware though - this is occult ideas being taken seriously so anyone that doesn't like the satanic side of metal should better keep away.

Its time to sum this wonderful album up - vicious, fast, aggressive and occasionally subtle and haunting, "Zoon" is bound to make any fan of goth rock and dark metal happy. Get it.


Band profile: Fields Of The Nephilim
Album: Zoon


 



Written on 03.11.2005 by
jupitreas
With Metal Storm since 2002, jupitreas has been subjecting the masses to his reviews for quite a while now. Privately not actually an asshole, he lives in Warsaw, Poland, where he runs his small graphic and web design business.
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DayFly - 27.03.2009 at 16:40  
I heard this wasn't a real Fields Of The Nephilim release, but an album by a successor-band called The Nephilim. It sounds nothing like Fields Of The Nephilim at any rate. Good review, though.
jupitreas - 27.03.2009 at 16:51  
Written by DayFly on 27.03.2009 at 16:40

I heard this wasn't a real Fields Of The Nephilim release, but an album by a successor-band called The Nephilim. It sounds nothing like Fields Of The Nephilim at any rate. Good review, though.


You are right, Zoon was released with the moniker "The Nefilim".
The reason why it is now generally considered to be simply a FOTN album is that Carl has later resurrected and reformed the band as Fields Of The Nephilim while still playing Zoon songs live. So yes, it was a drastic departure at the time but has been accepted into the 'canon' through the perspective of time.
Big-Al - 09.03.2012 at 00:49  
Indeed, our world has never been ready for Fields Of The Nephilim/The Nephilim... and probably never will be.
Monolithic - 24.03.2013 at 14:42  
Great review. There's only one little mistake though: Elizium was released in 1990.

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