This was a gig I’d been waiting for since The Fields of The Nephilim split in 1992. Carl McCoy, the singer of Fields of the Nephilim went on to form The Nefilim in 1993 but, apart from a handful of dates in Germany in 1993, had never really toured – and had never played Britain with his new band. This changed in 1996 with the April release of The Nefilims sole album, “Zoon”, and a string of UK dates in May and a handful of festival appearences in June and July around continental Europe. They then split up with Carl going on to reform The Fields of the Nephilim again with new bandmates. So this was their one and only UK tour as The Nefilim, and turned out to be the only time I’d see them in this guise.
The Nefilim’s Zoon was a departure from the sound we’d grown familiar with as Fields of the Nephilim. Zoon was harder, faster, and more death metal in places. It wasn’t only Zoon that was a change, as The Nefilim had reworked a number of once-familiar Fields of the Nephilim tracks and given them the similiar “death metal” treatment. In total they covered four original Fields of the Nephilim tracks…. “Moonchild”, “Dawnrazor”, “Love Under Will” and “Last Exit For The Lost”. I think the latters arrangement was not played with, but can’t 100% recall right now. The rest of the set comprised of Zoon almbun tracks.
Whilst I’m not overly keen on The Nefilim’s “death metal” period I will openly admit that this gig was fantastic and right up there with some of the best gigs of not only 1996 but of any I have been to. Some of that may be down to my sheer enthusiasm of seeing one of my favourite bands of all-time live again, even in their altered state. That said, enthusiasm alone wouldn’t have had me giving them such a glowing review as I have seen bands I love whom I thought were terrible live, so I think the greater part has to be down to Carl and co’s commanding presence and performance.
The ticket also allowed us free entry to The Astoria’s Rockscene, which was a metal club I occasionally went to anyway, so a whole bunch of us stayed around and and continued to drink and dance the night away after the gig.
I’m very pleased I managed to catch him on one of his few Nefilim dates, but was even more pleased when he reverted back to Fields of the Nephilim and they started touring again.