SandmanVI | Glen Allen, VA United States | 02/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Within the space of just 3 albums Fields of the Nephilim transformed from a band who cranked out power Goth singles to the group who created this masterwork of mood and atmosphere. The surreal, interwoven tapestry of sound and concept created on "Elizium" may dwarf anything that Pink Floyd ever did on DSOTM or "Wish You Were Here"; I love both of those Floyd albums but have never heard an album as capable of transporting the mind and spirit as this. FotN hinted at what was coming on the last 3 songs of "The Nephilim", each an epic work heavy with texture. Still, one could hardly have anticipated the scope and cohesiveness achieved here.The album opens with a 4-song, 20-minute movement containing both calm and storm, quiet and power, hope and despair. The sound rises and falls in sync with the prevailing emotions of the moment. The major shifts within the movement are listed as separate songs, but the blending is so seamless that you'll be surprised that the track listing has changed. Songs 5 & 6 are the only 2 that stand as individual pieces. "Submission" features a brooding yet gentle rolling bass matched with subdued, spoken vocals. It's clear that there is an underlying energy waiting to be released, but it's uncertain whether it will be. "Sumerland" sends the soul on a journey, soaring above ancient Sumeria in a transitory state so that we can see the Earth as well as touch the gods. The final 2 songs, like the first 4, blend together with the song change marking an energy shift more than a change in direction. As with the rest of the album there are swirling guitars, amazing basslines that add texture without taking over, and lyrics that blur the lines between life and death, spirit and matter, yet able to connect the end back to the beginning.Vocalist Carl McCoy is making a spiritual and philosophical statement with his lyrics, but the band is making an equally powerfully statement without words. The 2 work together to stunning effect. Elizium is the perfect album to take a break from the mundane and meditate on greater things."
nsmpeglit | Athens, GREECE | 02/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I cannot stress how wonderful this album is... Not being a goth fan, although i have some goth CDs in my collection, i got really surprised when i listened to Elizium for the first time. It was my first Fields of The Nephilim record and i was thinking that it would be like Sisters of Mercy or sth. It suprised me in the same way Pink Floyd did many years ago, sth that happens not so often nowadays. I spent the whole night listening to it repeatidly and honestly i got so excited that i was chasing my friends, in the middle of the examination period, in order to gather and listen to it. The funny thing is that everybody disagreed but when i managed to convice them, the reaction didn't let me down. For the next few days my cell phone was under SMS attack "oh my god", "what was that?", "unbelievable" etc etc. The truth is that Elizium is a great record, one of the thousand great records that are around, and if you are prejudiced about gothic you will really get surprised! It has atmosphere, sound quality, lyrics, well... a reason to exist! The music is between rock and metal, that is it is quite heavier than the usuall '80s goth like Siouxsie, Bauhaus etc with influences from Pink Floyd and with a voice from the outer space. The artwork is also very beautiful, the frond cover is very clever and the European edition from Beggars Banquet that i own includes lyrics. Andy Jackson did the sound engineering and John Carin played keyboards. If you like good music you should check it out, whether you enjoy this style or not. It is a necessity in any serious collection.Definitely one of the top '90s rock records."
Elyzium is the perfect gothic antedote to commercial audio.
email@example.com | Arlington, VA | 09/11/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Contrary to its detractors, Elyzium by Fields of the Nephilim is an excellent recording, one that is consistent and powerful across each of the tracks. Unlike the Mission UK, which was always as much about rock as it was about goth, and unlike Sisters of Mercy, which focused as much on somber lyrics as up-tempo club beats, Fields of the Nephilim is clearly designed to be dark, brooding music. Elyzium creates and sustains a heavy, sureal (almost serene) mood much in the way that the Cocteau Twins and other 4AD bands often do. Though Fields of the Nephilim focus on traditional instruments of choice. On Elyzium, listeners travel across time and space through echoing electric guitars, precise and crisp drumming, and a bass guitar that more often than not provides the lead and rythym of each song (think of the song Three Days by Jane's Addiction). The vocals, unlike myriad former and current goth bands, are genuine in their search for eternal grace, and they intrigue with tales and metaphors from ancient mesopotamia. While it is likely that powerfully existential music of this kind will never reach the masses, just as much of the work of Dead Can Dance will not, Elyzium is the perfect record for listeners that demand a certain degree of sincerity and purpose in their goth music. For listeners that seek an atmospheric goth journey into the past, guided by passionate singing and image laden lyrics, Elyzium (indeed most Fields of the Nephilim records) is the perfect recording."
Listen and learn
petersen | Blythe, Ca | 06/11/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After years of listening to FOTN, I can honestly say that their music has been a catalyst in an ongoing transformation towards...whatever it is that I will become. Some souls wallow in the muck of shallow puddles- living "Goth" as an image, dwelling overly much on their own suffering, and/or renouncing society's value/belief systems without ever a thought to developing their own. When one is only a reactionary against society and not an advocate of the self, society will judge him down, and down he will go.I may seem to be digressing, but I'm building up to what I believe is one of the key morals/messages of FOTN's music- It's OKAY to reject society/law/order/christ, etc., but to be OKAY you have to embrace the SEARCH. Elizium's music and lyrics explore themes such as reincarnation, life, death, origin, and destination. Darkness can be vibrant and empowering, and Elizium, more than any other FOTN album, conveys this, along with a sense of hope.So if you are into dark art for more than the trapings of an adolescent image for yourself, have higher hopes for your end than christian "hell," and are not a spiritual retard, you stand to gain a lot more from FOTN's music than just some good tunes. Elyzium is the bands most polished and accessible album. The Nephilim album contains just as much truth, albeit in a raw fashion that is much harder."