I’m disappointed within seconds of receiving this disc, and I haven’t even heard a single note. An unsuspecting glance at the cover raises unfounded hopes.
Mostly, I’m surprised any band would call themselves Nephilim, given the existence of seminal western-goth-metal merchants Fields of the Nephilim and their various incarnations and permutations, notably McCoy’s more industrial-metal iteration as Nefilim. McCoy (infamously) declared to ‘Melody Maker’ in October 1991 ‘I am the Nephilim!’, meaning that these guys surely can’t be.
In a crowded field, they cram things ever more tightly in inviting comparisons to Avenged Sevenfold, Trivium, Killswitch Engage, and Asking Alexandria. I feel myself experiencing less a strange sense of déjà vu and more of a crushing sense of endless sameness.
‘Demonic Society’ is all predictability opens with a short instrumental that’s atmospheric and graceful and expansive and paves the way for a barrage of chugging guitar riffery that provides the backdrop for dal vocals – clean and guttural, of course. Musically, it’s a bit hair-rock, and the bright guitar sound, staccato lead lines, and widdly solo breaks are obvious and showy.
The trebly production and overly technical elements seriously undermine the raging fury that does, unquestionably, boil hard along the way. They definitely have some ideas, and no shortage of ability, and it’s when they rein in the flashy shit, as they do on the slower, more straightforwardly anthemic ‘Beyond the Gates’ that they’re at their most powerful.
Unfortunately, such moments are few and far between: but they’ve definitely got potential. If they can get past feeling the need to prove themselves, maybe they have a chance of fulfilling it.