Photo courtesy of Ewa Winkler/Shinepoisonivy Photography
The following review was contributed by Anne Souter...
AUSSIES RAGE IN BERLIN WITH THE CULT OF THE ROCK DEMONS
In the last days of 2010 about 1500 of the faithful came trudging through the snow-locked streets of Berlin from all over the world to the final stand of British band The Fields of The Nephilim.
The reverence with which fans treat this band is just the same as that accorded to the legendary Australian rock band The Angels. And like Doc Neeson, its lead singer, Carl McCoy, is also a charismatic, mysterious, lyrical genius with a great sense of drama. While Doc Neeson has often been described as a madman, Carl McCoy is believed by many to be either possessed by an ancient demon or actually be a vampire.
This was the last gig of The Nephilims’ last tour at Huxley's Neue Welt, and I and a couple of others had flown from Australia to join members of a group of 50 fans known as The Dawnrazors, who had travelled across Europe in a specially prepared bus, sometimes in temperatures as low as minus15, to catch every gig. They are named after the band’s first album, "Dawnrazor". Wearing identical magical pendants, they refer to each other as brothers and sisters and some of them have even changed their own surnames to "Nephilim".
That night I and the other Australian fans joined legions of band followers from the UK, France, Iceland, Scandanavia, The Netherlands, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, The Russian Federation, Italy, Israel, Spain, Greece and Germany, all with a common goal – to "Keep The Nephilim Flame Alive".
With lead singer Carl McCoy (known by many as "Majestic Ceremonial Master"), an occultist in real life, lyrical origins in ancient mythology and followers who call themselves "Legion", this legendary group is a rare musical phenomenon, which almost defies description. It has been variously categorized as Goth Rock, Rock Noir and Death Metal but there is far more to it than meets the eye. The Nephilim sound is more than music - it is something else which makes you feel deeply buried emotions. It evokes very ancient memories of mankind.
Powerful, intense and cloaked in magic, their hypnotic concerts are inspirational feasts for the eyes, ears and soul, taking you on a journey into the underworld. Their dark Goth metal sound and smoke-shrouded light sources appeal to death metal devotees, new romantics, Goths, Pagans and Satanists and also fascinates lovers of heavy rock, drama and ancient civilizations.
The show opened with Gregorian chants of a song called Shroud which carried you into a dark mysterious mass. A mystical ceremony opened a pathway to the dark unknown. Then came the powerful Goth rock classics like Endemoniada, The Watchman, Moonchild, and Last Exit For The Lost which is said to be the most epic in the entire history of the genre.
Carl McCoy's silence between the songs makes the audience feel that something special is taking place which doesn't need words. The music carries you into "the trance". The guitar riffs, arrangements and lyrics are amazing, and Carl's vocals are very potent.
Endemoniada starts out with a heartbeat, some eerie tribal drums, a strange voice and some unusual sounds before a lengthy main riff comes in, followed by chilling lyrics.
The Watchman starts off with a fantastic and unusual guitar riff, and the lyrics in this song are not unlike those of Doc Neeson, who draws on 1920s Expressionism in his performances. Carl is equally eloquent and cryptic, but whereas Doc is a brilliant relatively modern lyricist, Carl draws on the dark magick of very ancient days and chants, either shrouded in smoke, or directly into smoke rising from the floor:
"My life’s turning pages, I see a promised day
Watchmen never age here, they just sleep in vain -
Drowning people stare here, they don't care to call
So I rebury the pages, Kthulhu calls...
You'll see, you'll see her when she starts to form
You'll see, you'll see her when she starts to call
In the name of Jesus Christ, won't you fear my name?
I've been around since Moses, your preacher never came"
Moonchild and Love Under Will have unforgettable intros and very imaginative lyrics. Other songs with names like Chord of Souls are also very good. Full-on Goth in the original sense of the word - beautiful, mysterious, manic, edgy, apocalyptic and majestic.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that The Fields of The Nephilim is more massive in scope and feel than other Goth bands because it draws on the ancient powers of Sumer, Akkad and Babylon.
From the haunting strains of Celebrate to the discordant brilliance of Last Exit For the Lost every moment will find you in a dream-like duality of mind and body. Like being inside a spell, and different from anything I’ve ever experienced in Australia - except for when Melbourne’s singing witch Wendy Rule once charged a selenite crystal rod I held out to her with her eyes. I will never forget that, and I will never forget the eyes of Carl McCoy.
I went to see The Nephilim out of curiosity but came away magnetized, knowing I had witnessed something quite extraordinary, including the most spectacular bit of crowd surfing I’ve ever seen. I saw followers rise out of the smoke, appearing to stand on air, with their arms outstretched towards Carl when he called to the ancient evil god Kthulhu, and then suddenly they simply seemed to vanish, absorbed by the crowd. I later found out that what I'd seen is called "Tower Building".
Two days later I met one of the "tower builders" at dinner in a restaurant. I noticed that he and his wife had electric green eyes, just like Carl’s, and then a mutual friend, band supporter Michel Nefilim, asked: "Did you feel something else there the other night?" Everyone agreed that there did seem to have been another presence there, apart from the band and the audience.
Later in cyberspace one fan told me that Carl McCoy looks exactly the same today as he did 25 years ago. Another said "Carl does not age. We are always with Nephilim. Forever Remain". That was it - I couldn't help myself asking the whole group then if they thought Carl was immortal. One answered for all, saying: "Oh come on, we all know Carl’s a vampire!"
Then I remembered that when I’d gone into the supposedly "dangerous" area "down the front", which is always a dangerous mosh pit at Angels’ concerts, I’d seen no moshing, just people with raised and outstretched arms and some very beautiful women with burning bright red eyes gravitating effortlessly towards Carl. They were probably wearing coloured contacts – but what if they weren’t?
Some seemingly pro-Christian U-tube videos emanating from Pakistan are currently warning about the return to Earth of the angels cast down to Earth because of their wickedness, who were known in ancient days as "The Nephilim". Maybe they are warning us about this band? But the band followers feed on the drama of all this, with one group, The Dawnrazors, prepared to follow their "Master" to the end of the Earth and beyond.
If you ever get a chance to see this band, grab it!
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