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Fields Of The Nephilim: Revelations/Forever Remain/Visionary Heads DVD

The '80's did exist even though some of us want to completely ignore that fact. There was some decent music produced in that decade. One just had to dig a little deeper to uncover it. Fields Of The Nephilim is one of those bands which was worth seeking out. Their style could be described as a mix of the darker alternative bands of that era ( The Mission, The Cure, Southern Death Cult..) with elements of the 70's British melancholia from the likes of Floyd or Nick Drake and a vocalist whose guttural utterances resonate straight from Hell.

This DVD is an accumulation of probably everything this band ever committed to celluloid. Revelations is a compilation of videos ( yes, those cheesy, poorly acted videos from the '80's). It can be skipped over with the exception of the video for "Psychonaut" in which we are bombarded with a series of disturbing images over Carl McCoy's apocalyptic voice.; and Electronic Press Kit where we get a rare interview with Mr McCoy who articulately explains the band's approach and musical philosophy.

Forever Remain is a 70 minute concert filmed in London in 1988 to support their self-titled disc which appeared that year. Here we're served up a healthy (?) helping of tracks from this album such as "Endemoniada", "Love Under Will", "The Watchman "(!!) and the haunting "Last Exit For The Lost." This is a professionally shot, multi-camera concert which plunges you straight into the cozy confines of London's Town And Country Club. Although it's a fairly solid set, I find that some of the earlier tracks represent more of the bands alternative, house-mix, era. Entertaining but inferior to the second complete concert offered on this DVD.

Visionary Heads is another 70 minute set filmed in 1990 to promote the band's release from that year, the excellent Elizium. The band started getting away from their dance origins to explore much darker, contemplative musical landscapes. The show opens as the disc begins with "Intro ( Dead But Dreaming)", "For Her Light", and "At The Gates Of Silent Memory (Paradise Regained.)" Here the band delves into the 70's melancholia earlier described in this review. This is the type of material which would probably interest prog enthusiasts the most from this band's repertoire. They also throw classics like "Chord Of Souls", "Pshychonaut" as well as show-stoppers like "The Watchman" and "Last Exit For The Lost" to create an impressive aural assault. Hearing this band in the studio does not prepare one for the raw energy they could produce in a live setting. All the tracks seem so much more vivid and alive when performed in front of a rabid, die hard audience.

And if that wasn't enough, the band has also included more videos. "Penetration" is a track recorded in 1996 under the name The Nephilim. It showcases a much more muscular approach. The track leaps out at you and goes for the jugular. The '80's beats have disappeared from the band's sound and a grungier sound has emerged in it's place. Crazed and Insatiable are songs penned under the Rubicon banner with a different vocalist. The voice is clearer and one can actually make out the words being sung. "Crazed" reminds me of the slew of melodic power metal bands from the early '90's. "Insatiable" is much angrier with the vocalist (Delaney ?) screaming through a megaphone over a manic, pounding musical backdrop; reminiscent of Rob Halford's Fight without the shredding guitar solos.

Although only recorded in 2.0 Dolby Digital, this DVD is a fitting testament to an interesting, yet obscure band from the darkest ages of rock. Not for everyone's pallet but mandatory for anyone who ever got into this band back in the day.

Added: February 26th 2003
Reviewer: Yves Dube
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 3102
Language: english

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