Fields Of The Nephilim – Ceromonies DVD Screening

By on 23 January 2012


Our loyal Dominion scribe, Pete Woods went to a swanky venue and watched the Fields Of Nephilim DVD. Here’s what he thought…

The original ceromonies (the official spelling) took place on the 12th and 13th of July 2008 at London’s Shepherds Bush Empire. Just prior to this, the group had played for the first time in seven years at the London Astoria. This long anticipated event was filmed by the eccentric director Richard Stanley who had also helmed the excellent movies Hardware (1990) and Dust Devil (1992). For some reason or another, this footage never saw the light of day, so people at the two special shows were very pleased to see that the evening was being committed to celluloid. The only thing they didn’t really expect was a 3-year wait for it all.

As any Fields Of Nephilim fan has learned over the years, patience is a virtue. Frontman and sole surviving member of the group Carl McCoy has a reputation for being both a perfectionist and an elusive figure. He has spent a lot of his time getting this visual and aural feast done just so, the way he intended this closure for the band before they move onto new things.

Since they reformed from the ashes and played that show in ‘2007, it shows the new members of the band can perform and also look the part. It’s not all “The Carl McCoy” show, and the cameras lens lingers on the whole band as well as including many shots of the audience in its entire tower building glory at various angles. It sounds fantastic too, the opening choral shards of ‘Shroud’ shimmer magnificently and after building up and casting us in its spine chilling ambience the plummet down to ‘Straight Into The Light’ and the foot stomping prowess of this anthem is everything we could have envisaged.

Visually, things are ever shape shifting and the filmic aspects go way beyond anything anyone should really expect from mere concert footage. It is evident that this is what has taken so long to get the project realised. Tones change from muted pastels to stark black and white, it is as though the film stock has been partly aged at times too, coming across as mottled rather than gaudy and very much like something from the past rather than the future, which we anticipate will be forthcoming. The camera roves ever reaching for nooks and crannies like a Giallo director trying to really get beneath the skin of their subject. Suddenly it homes in on something. A flash of Carl’s eyes are transposed almost subliminally during the hammer smash frenzy of ‘Penetration’ and left burnt onto the retinas, leaving you wondering if you saw them or not. During the more calming ‘Elyzium’ etched grandiosity of ‘Wail Of Sumer’ the pyramid constructions get the notice they deserve and the shoe-gazing elements of the number are captured perfectly as they sway. The one complaint is that no Dawnrazor song is represented on the DVD although the percussive might of ‘Trees Come Down’ is very much welcomed. However time spent on the ‘Elyzium’ material continued into ‘And There Will Your Heart Be Also’ does make up for it. Hell, without that album it is debatable whether bands such as Fen, Agalloch and many of the post black metal wave would even exist!

Also fulfilling is the superb ‘Psychonaut’ a song which is so seeped in power it garners an almost religious fervour from the crowd. Sealing the disc is a new song, well not exactly as already seven years old, ‘Mourning Sun’ just feels that way to the faithful who have been with the band from the start. It’s a great way to end and as the film finishes it gets a big round of applause from all gathered and as we leave it does really feel that we have watched something more than mere show footage. This one is certainly to be savoured and watched again. Let’s hope the next chapter is with us soon!

‘Ceremonies’ is released in March.



About Miranda Yardley

I'm Miranda. Bite me.

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