The return to the full length by NFD is definitely one of the best news of recent times for fans of those gothic sounds that were made legendary by Fields Of The Nephilim. The band of Peter “Bob” White, after a long silence following the release of the second album Dead Pool Rising, had reappeared in 2013 with the ep Reformations and, with this Waking The Dead, they fill the void left by the now (too) sporadic releases by that mythical moniker that remained the prerogative of the only Carl McCoy. The link with Nephilim does not derive only from the stylistic contiguity: for those who do not know the history of NFD, it should be explained that the English band was born on the initiative of the aforementioned White and his companion at the time in Sensorium, drummer Simon Rippin (present in the line-up of Zoon, a masterpiece released under the brand Nephilim), which was joined by the historic bassist of FOTN, Tony Pettitt. Today White and Pettit take over their creature making themselves assisted on rhythm guitar by Chris Milden and on drums by the Italian Luca Mazzucconi, as well as availing themselves in two tracks of the lead guitar of the former Cradle Of Filth James McIlroy. Having made this necessary premise we come to the album: Waking The Dead is, quite simply, a magnificent work, thanks to fifty minutes of gothic rock, dark, rhythmic, with a not inconsiderable metal soul that shines through the work of the guitars and with Bob White that reveals the only worthy and credible emulator of McCoy. The title track opens the album in a spectacular way to say the least: ten minutes of pure emotions, with a crescendo ending with a long solo by White himself. After so much magnificence, the following Got Left Behind, Spiral and Let You Fall are hard to compare with, even though the average level is always well above average, but despite this, first Red Sky Burning (with a masterful work by McIlroy), then The Great Divide bring the album back to peaks of absolute excellence and, after the intimate parenthesis of Evermore, Return To Dust and, above all, the following and magnificent The Silence Of The Angels, give another ten minutes of great music, before the closing entrusted to the experimental sounds of Without End. What I’ve always thought of NFD, since their first appearance with the splendid No Love Lost (if you’ve never listened to it, I invite you to fill the gap) is that, after all, they represented “the human face” of Fields Of The Nephilim, or what they could have been, for better or worse, if deprived of the presence of a brilliant, complex and cumbersome personality like Carl McCoy. The sound of NFD avoids brainiac solutions and it’s focused on the search of those emotions that the fan of the genre wants to feel; surely approachable to the most immediate Nephilim (those of Dawnrazor rather than Elizium, just to be clear), the London band obviously doesn’t reach the unreachable peaks for almost all humans (exactly…), but it’s, today, the best you can hear in this stylistic field. Does it seem little to you?
2015 – Jungle Records