The Nefilim: Zoon
13/08/12 || Averatu
In 1991, Carl McCoy left the Fields of the Nephilim. I only found this out 2 years later when I’d bought all their albums and all the t-shirts I could find, I was belatedly severely disappoint, my son. The band found a new vocalist and changed their name to Rubicon. Carl McCoy formed a new band called Nefilim, and started doing gigs in 1993. Rubicon had their moments, but where a pale shadow of the band that was. I did not expect much more from the new McCoy project. But then quite unexpectedly in 1996 came Zoon.
10. I had been hankering for a band that had the atmosphere and imagery of a Goth band, and the heaviness and intensity of a death metal band, and this was the album that brought that into the sphere of reality, and more. Some of the tracks are short and to the point, others entering the epic domain reaching 9 min. Type O Negative dabbled with this formula, but I could only listen to so many songs about what a stud missile Peete Steel supposedly was, may he rest in peace.
9. Zoon has the McCoy patented samples and intro sounds, a lot of consideration was given to continuity the songs flow as an album in a similar way to NIN’s ‘The downward spiral’. Its all brilliantly recorded and mixed, even listening to it 16 years later. All the instruments work together building the music rather than competing for attention.
8. This is not really a guitarist’s metal album, lacking noodle, noodle, wee solos. When I first heard the 2 opening songs I was reminded of the first time I listened to Painkiller, and how there was something about the way the guitars just drove the songs. Then on track 5, “Melt”, the guitar part is mostly just a sustained chords over the bass.
10. Carl McCoy is, in my absolutely not so humble opinion, one of the most influential vocalists in extreme music. If Brian Johnson gargled turpentine for that sandpaper sound, then Carl McCoy gargled creosote.
8. In the bass department the Goth influence comes through the strongest. The bass is pretty audible throughout. There are many parts where the guitars are playing clean or sustained chords, where the bass is left to carry the song, sounding solid with a bit of a twang.
8. Double pedal unbound but nothing too flashy in the drums department. But this is a strength, as all the other instruments are neatly locked in time with Mr Simon Rippin’s metronome solid playing.
10. This album feels like the proverbial quest. The first 2 songs convey an immense sense of violent loss, and the rest of the album seems like the journey back into the light. To this day these songs still get me excited and give me goosebumps, and even thou I cant sing to save my life, I will treat everyone within earshot to a sing along rendition of this album.
10. Looking at the digipack cover, the hooded monk in what looks like a doorway, holding a foreboding finger to his lips, almost the proverbial guide on your journey. Cover art, as with some Fields albums, was designed by Sheer Faith, which is the design company of McCoy and Lynn S, and their distinctive work has been hugely influential.
8. I supposed they took a short cut, the logo is in a font similar to the one used for the Fields of the Nephilim logo. Nothing spectacular, and I guess it was used to make it recognizable to Fields of the Nephilim fans.
9. The booklet carries as much symbolic meaning as the lyrics of the album, lots of overlaid text alluding to the lyrics, and images making for varied interpenetration.
Overall and ending rant
This is, and has been a frequent play album on my playlist since I fist got it on order in 1996, and a cd that is very well acquainted with my cd player. This album is a massive step towards what later became blackened death metal, just ask Nergal. Subsequent to this album, the band did some shows but eventually called it quits. A Fields of the Nephilim reunion was announced, and anticlimactically they did some gigs and fell apart again. Carl McCoy’s has been performing inconsistently all along, and his solo albums, be it under the same name, have been listen-able, but far from great. The only way to reclaim Zoon’s level of genius is for the original Fields of the Nephilim to reform and do a follow-up to their prog inspired master piece, Elysium.
- Released: 1996
- Label: Beggars Banquet
- Website: www.fieldsofthenephilim.com
- Carl McCoy: vocals and additional instruments
- Paul Miles: guitars
- Cian Houchin: bass
- Simon Rippin: drums
- 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