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Mourning Sun reviews [unedited]
The chorus in ‘Straight to the Light’ is a bit iffy at times, but it’s a brilliant song nonetheless. I also miss the subtle but powerful drumming of Nod Wright and the soaring guitar work of Peter Yates and Paul Wright.
I’m honestly really suprised at the amount of positive reviews for this album. Even more suprised by the comparisons to the band’s late 80s/early 90s period where they released masterpiece after masterpiece. Are you fucking joking me? This pile of self referential bullshit, cheesy vocals and half-baked metal riffs? You’re SERIOUSLY comparing this to the likes of The Nephilim and Elizium? Even to Zoon, which actually shows how “gothic metal” can and should be done? There’s some good moments scattered across the disc, to be fair. The title track starts off spine chilling before descending into nauseating repetition. Straight to the Light isn’t utterly bad either, until you realise the entire song is built around a repeat of the bassline from Psychonaut, just not anywhere near as good. Fuck that, I’ll just go listen to Pychonaut, thanks. This has nothing to do with what the original band was about, which just goes to show that without Yates, Wright, Pettit and Wright backing him up, McCoy is nothing but a figurehead in a cool hat. Oh and the production sucks.
Having got into the FOTN back in ’87 after Dawnrazor, I have got evey bit of their music I could find. Well I’ve been waiting for this new album for what seems like years (3 years in fact), I eagerly pre-ordered my copy. I have loved every album to date so saw no reason why this would be any different.
How dissapointing when I finally got this on the CD player.
This is no where near the quality of the previous albums, even the unofficial Fallen was miles better. Clearly FOTN has suffered with the loss of the original line-up. Very bland synth rock which doesn’t deserve to be called Goth/Rock/or any such dark genre.
No amount of gutteral voice alteration can save such a weak start to the album
Straight To The Light:
The chorus completely destroys this one.
New Gold Dawn:
Same bland guitar strumming
Definitely the best song on the album though it takes a long time to get going, but just doesn’t quite make it
Strange upbeat combo with synth accompanyment
Very formulaic and predictable. Not offensive but certainly not interesting either
Album title song and as such encaptures the whole work. Tinkling drivle.
In The Year 2525:
Poor interpretation of a very long dead song. Thanks for that bonus.
Overall must try harder, you are capable of so much more.
No brooding guitar riffs, dark menacing atmosphere, underworld vocals and lyrical references to deep hidden secrets. I fear that FOTN will never rise from the ashes.
Shame because they were my all time favourite band. I think the Watchers got a bit bored waiting around for so long and wandered off to find something more interesting.
This one will just gather dust on my shelf.
I really liked the Fields until this album came out. I’ve even seen the stupid movie Carl and Iggy were in but this album just should have never have been made. Boring and repetitive are the two words that come to mind when listening to this album. Songs tend to build up for 5 minutes and then never go anywhere. The only song that seemed to have any life to it was the last track but who wants to hear “In the Year 2525” 80000000 times. If you buy this your just wasting your money. I know the Fields fanboys and girls will knock my review and proclaim this album the second coming of christ but it really isn’t.
I am a huge Neph fan, and man is it great to have them back. This album isnt as good as their older stuff, but I like it for the most part. McCoy can set a mood and there is an energy here that is alluring like most of their stuff. She and 2525 are my favorites. it just is hard to listen to. It is way too compressed…everything is equally loud, and that makes it impossible to listen to for any long period of time. Dawnrazor, and The Nephilim for instance didnt have this problem. Never thought a band like the FOTN who seem to maintain a large amount of control over their production would fall victim to the LOUDNESS WAR…google it.
Mourning Sun seems to be a shameless bid for the nostalgia market, repeating the old tricks of the old band but without the power and majesty of their classic albums.
It’s been a long time, and it is good to have them (him) back but the album sounds badly mixed in places and there is some hamfisted guitar playing here and there.
As a long-standing fan of Fields of the Nephilim, and of Carl McCoy’s album with The Nefilim, Zoon, I have to say that this is pants. There are those who, having waited eagerly for any sign of new releases from the (rather unproductive) McCoy Creative Engine for so long will lap this up simply because they can’t bear to admit it’s low-grade, soulless pap, but… it really is. Gone is the feel of “Elizium“, the deep ambient spell woven through the shimmering interconnectedness of a group of real musicians playing together, the whole far greater than the sum of its parts.
This is sterile, overworked… The computer has left its formatted talon-marks all over the sound (and thus that timeless quality has been lost).
Some of the instrumentation is, frankly, teenage-bedroom cringeworthy… And the lyrics, ye gods… All I can assume is that McCoy’s poetic daemon has leapt back to the dimension from whence it was conjured. Not the masterpiece that ten years’ silence should have been crowned with, but an album that could have been written, recorded and released in six months on the side while working fulltime as a motorcycle mechanic.
Magick? Ah… Mr. McCoy’s face appears in the cover image… Ego… the false centre that causes all delusion. I feel that Carl has simply proven by deed that the dark path yields less and less real power, substituting in its place empty posturing and show. Silly, and rather sad, really. Wake up: We’re already here.
Well I waited for this album for 15 years and was it worth the wait? I’ll answer that question at some point but a few things about the album first.
I am a 30+ year Nephilim fan from years ago…as per quite a lot of the reviews on here and I for one don’t think that Carl McCoy defines the Nephilim sound – for me it was always a mix of the vocals, guitars and drums. With all of this in mind there are currently 3 Nephilim albums doing the rounds. (There is one by NFD which is a perfectly competent rendering of the early Nephilim sound by Tony Pettitt and Peter Yates, and there is the one by Last Rites who are Nod Wright and Paul Wright – this takes the Elyzium sound one step further…)
To be honest when I first listened to this album I was slightly disappointed by the quality of the musicianship and the reuse of the same bass line on several songs (a bass line that is straight out of an old Nephilim song at that!) was annoying. On repeated listening it didn’t get any better either. I’m listening to it at the moment and the album is very front loaded – all the good tracks are at the start of the album one you get beyond track 5 you are struggling to get a half decent track and the bonus track is throw away at best.
The first 3 tracks do get a listen as they are quality tracks (bar that bass line) but the rest..?
Was it worth the wait? Well no – 3 really good tracks, a couple of half decent ones and some dross doesn’t make up for the time lost. If you want a quality album that makes you relive the glory days of The Nephilim then get “The Many Forms” from Last Rites which is a quality album carrying all the promise that this one should have had!
I give this 3 stars simply because Carl McCoy’s music has given me so much pleasure through the last 20 years, however I don’t believe that the music actually deserves it.
I bought this album on the strength of the reviews of Amazon users, thinking it would be interesting to hear the Nephilim’s long-awaited new material. I wanted to like this album but after several playings, I’ve passed it on. It is pretty much accepted that “Elizium” was the band’s masterpiece and following it up -especially ten years later – was never going to be easy. But all we are given is a collection of songs that could have been on “Elizium” were it not for their sub-standard quality. Whereas the songs on “Elizium” were well crafted, achingly beautiful sound-scapes, these songs lack structure and tell us nothing we don’t know already. “Shroud” opens the album but is it an intro like “Dead but Dreaming” or is it a fully-fledged song? Who knows? “Straight to the Light” raises the bar slightly but then the comparisons to “For Her Light” come in. Because it was so poor, I found “New Gold Dawn” pretty hard to listen to and always skipped on to “Requiem,” which could have been called “At the Gates of Silent Memory 2.” “Xiberia” is a much stronger effort and actually takes you in a new direction with its looped synth lines and bonkers drumming. “She” again lacks any coherent structure and goes on far too long and the title track seems like an afterthought. The real highlight of the whole collection is “In the Year 2525,” which rivals the likes of Joe Cocker’s version of With a Little Help From My Friends as being one of the best cover versions of all time. The album’s production is what lets it down. Again, comparisons with “Elizium” are inevitable. That album is one of the best produced albums ever. Mourning sun is saturated by over production to the extent that Nod Wright’s [“Nod has left the building! A long long time ago” – Site Author] new drumming style was all but inaudible. If you’ve never heard any FOTN before don’t buy this. Buy “Elizium” instead and prepare to have your life changed. If you’re a hardcore FOTN fan you’ll probably love “Mourning Sun” anyway, rendering this review irrelevant.
In response to the above, Nod Wright ISN’T drumming here, it’s a drum machine for the most part. Secondly Elizium isn’t their best work, it was The Nephilim. Mourning Sun has some very good songs on it and could have been a decent Nephs album IF the original musicians were brought back and the production was better. The Nephs sound revolved around the guitars and drums, NOT the vocals. Cheap drum machines, amateur guitars and tinny production have ruined a potentially great album. Well done Carl.
Good album, but not quite to the heights of all that came before.
I’ve had this since it came out, and have only just started to play it properly, wasn’t that impressed on first hearing as it really doesn’t grab you by the scruff of the neck
This album isn’t as good as their older stuff, but I like it for the most part.
Elizium reviews [unedited]
It’s the greatest album ever. This is 50 minutes of music majesty encased in a dark wrapper of growling vocals and epic guitars.
When FOTN recorded Elizium in 1990 they had taken over the mantle of the most important underground cult band in the country. Their live shows were monumental affairs, attracting legions of devoted followers who followed them around the country to partake in shows that Carl McCoy termed ‘rituals’. As far as I am concerned this band were the last great music group, tapping into various types of 70s ‘rock’ and taking musical mysticism to its natural conclusion. By the time they split up a year later, the music industry was entering a nadir that was probably almost as bad as the gluttonous low-point it is at at the present time (2002). If FOTN had followed up Elizium with another studio album in 91 or 92 things could have been different. Why? Well, all you have to do is listen to this record. The sheer scope, range and ambition of the piece is startling, even on the first listen. From the rumbling intro of ‘Dead but Dreaming‘ to the achingly beautiful descent of ‘And there will your Heart be also‘ this is a record crafted in… well Elizium. It is fundamentally a record in a single piece: a symphony in allegros, andantes and a finale. It has a sense of completeness that satisfies as no other record I have ever listened to. Permeated as it is with a near obsession with Sumerian mythology, the band have somehow managed to catch the essence of an ancient time and place, several steps removed from reality. There is simply not a weak point in the writing, musicianship, or the engineering. Even the Aleister Crowley samples sound good! It is very difficult to listen to a single song in isolation — the album needs to be appreciated in full, because there is such a seemless blend between each piece of music. And that music is of the highest quality and imagination. Most especially, the two-piece finale ‘Wail of Sumer/ And there will your Heart be also’, a 14-minute cascade of puncturing bass, swirling guitars, airy vocals (yes McCoy does do airy vocals!) and ethereal pipes are directed at a higher level of consciousness. This record is a genuine masterpiece in every sense of the word, and I doubt whether the purported rebirth of FOTN in September 2002 will be able to muster anything near it.
Quite possibly THE greatest album ever recorded. I get goose bumps every time i listen to it. It’s beautiful, haunting & hypnotic all at the same time. Sumerland deserves a special mention here. It’s such a shame that bands like The Nephilim,
The Sisters & The Mission have no place in the realm of today’s modern music. Then again it just wouldn’t be the same now as it was back then. This music was born of a special time. It could never be replicated today. God Bless Carl McCoy & the lads for giving us the music that they have.
To see that this album has been re-issued on vinyl has made me want to write a review. You’ve been drawn to read this that i write here and it is strongly hoped that you will take it from me that you would do well to purchase a copy either on vinyl or CD. I bought this the day it came out hours before i went to see them play the first night of the Elizium tour in Bristol. I did not get a chance to hear it before seeing them play it live and that was one experience i will never forget. Had i the time to play the LP then i would have missed the gig! Simple as that. From the opening build up and the segues that follow, this recording is more than mere music on vinyl and bits of plastic. I have had the good fortune to introduce many people to this particular album and none have been disappointed. It truly is something not many words can describe adequately. Here is something that only experience can offer. A lot of people are ‘put off’ by the vocals of Carl McCoy apparently. I do realise that his singing comes from a place that not many can achieve and this makes the synergie of voice and music even more in harmony rather than discord. The majority of this album is a soundtrack to a place that a lot of us often wonder about i am sure. Some call it heaven, you get the picture! The albums closing sound is the epic Wail Of Sumer/And There Will Your Heart Be Also. I would not begin to do this an injustice by attempting to describe, it would be ignorant of me. You should hear this. I do hope it will take you to places that i have thought about when hearing the sound. There is a painting by the artist John Martin titled The Plains Of Heaven. To see this painting in front of you in the gallery whilst hearing the sound of Wail Of Sumer/And There Will Your Heart Be Also is something i hope someone reading this will get to experience also. They belong together. However you obtain this album then i wish you an experience that you too may find impossible to write about like i have failed to do so here. It truly is an experience.
Brilliant. Owned this years ago is timeless & haunting. Love it!
1990 heralded a completely new era for music in general. It seemed harder to discover the remains of Metal’s extreme sub-genres, and in an even worse case, the former glories and successes of many a band labelled under the NWOBHM belt, became a former shadow of themselves thanks to an outburst of newly created genres. Most importantly however, this was a year where such influential bands circulating round the genres of Gothic Rock, Industrial and Post-Punk split up and went on hiatus for however many years. One of the bands that fall into the latter of these two groups is Fields of the Nephilim, a band that always managed be the exact musical equivalent of a crisp, cold Christmas Day morning.
What is instantly noticeable when listening to an album such as “Elizium” is the fact that each and every song leads so beautifully and simply into the next, providing not only flow but substance to the album as a whole itself. Just as you think the seductively rich and repetitive Gothic overtones of songs such as ‘Sumerland (What Dreams may come)’ and ‘Wail of Sumer’ carry on for one more second, the welcoming arrival of the next song shows, and consequently proves to be quite a memorable piece of music.
As with the band’s greatly successful second album, “The Nephilim”, “Elizium” continued the gloomy atmospheres, the melancholic surroundings and the impressively noteworthy references to many a legend of Gothic literature and early 20th Century poets. One of the album’s gloomiest yet surely satisfying tracks, the progressively Gothic ‘At the Gates of silent Memory’, proves to be a landmark in Fields of the Nephilim’s career. The reason for this could be the way in which genuine excerpts from Aleister Crowley himself, reading in a creepy yet convincing voice every word to his beautiful poem “At Sea”:
“Such lights she gives as guide my bark;
That holds my Heaven and holds my Hell.
Love of my Life
Man is so infinitely small
Man is so infinitely great!”
It doesn’t take a genius to work out that with Carl Mccoy’s seductively haunting voice and such astoundingly written poetry like this, a sense of great melancholy and gloom is suddenly created. The lyrics of every one of “Elizium”’s songs is written in a similar way, and it still works to this day. On the shorter, punchier tunes such as ‘For her Light’ and ‘(Paradise regained)’, Mccoy still manages to croon along in a slower tone to a much faster paced form of music, where his voice echoes feelings of romance (“How lonely you are waiting at the Sunday park/I’ll elude you/I will lose you”) , necromancy (“You can;t wake up/Illusions born of the air/Something seems so precious there”) or even sexual overtones (“Love of my Life/Pour your light on the Faith/I can feel/Make it real/In her Sleep”).
This is indeed what early FOTN records excel at, but it isn’t the only thing that makes “Elizium” the Gothic-tinged masterpiece it is. Throughout these 50 minutes of lush atmospherics and beautifully enhanced production, there is plenty of room for each instrument to breathe in its own significant way. As said before, Mccoy seems to adapt whatever vocal style he performs to the nature of the lyrics. At times he snarls his way through (‘Submission’, ‘Sumerland’), croons (‘For her Light’) and even at one point almost growls in a way that wouldn’t be out of place on an early Morbid Angel record (‘Wail of Sumer’). The guitar rhythms performed by Paul Wright strongly complement the outstandingly good solo work by Peter Yates on both the enchanting ‘(Paradise regained)’ and ‘Submission’, whereas the delicately picked bass work proves to be an act of musical precision in parts of both ‘Summerland (What Dreams may come)’.
What is equally as enchanting here is the constant keyboard effects courtesy of Jon Carin, who frequently introduces each respective song in a very Gothic way, at times producing wails of hellish angels, cries of choirs, or even the odd repetitive note that somehow becomes hypnotic with each subsequent listen. The production here does help in a big way as well. Mccoy himself stated in regards to “Elizium” that “we wanted the production to be as clean, crisp and epic as possible”. Sometimes making the production sound as clean and crisp as possible does come with its disadvantages, for instance the loss of a band’s signature sound or the idea that their fanbase may be alienated for better, or for horribly worse. However, none of this happens, and it seems that FOTN’s sound on “Elizium” has been improved upon in almost every possible way.
The only criticism of an album as beautifully flowing and as well written as “Elizium” is, as usual with albums that are considerably long, that the longer songs may be too long for their own good-in some people’s eyes that is. Of course, it only really depends on your perception of the band itself, yet when songs such as ‘Sumerland (What Dreams may come’) and ‘Submission’ seem to overstay their welcome by becoming slightly too repetitive, it may annoy some listeners wanting each respective song to change its structure.
Even if this a slight mishap, it is one that can easily be ignored, for the existence of “Elizium” as a whole is significant. The atmosphere and the flow from each song to the next proves as an instant highlight, and even the themes and concepts introduced contribute well to the album’s overall success. Although it only peaked at #22 on the UK album charts, ten places below FOTN’s previous album, “The Nephilim”, it still stands as the band’s true tour de force, and consequently will be remembered easily by those who take care to listen to it.