Nefilim Zoon Record Label Beggars Banquet
I was skeptical of this album when I first heard it, and as others have pointed out here, the vocals often require generous listening, but it's inextricable from my collection. And with good reason. Far from the dull wet haze of 'traditional' goth metal (ie. Type O), Zoon fuses dreamy goth rock with raging speed metal, industrial blastbeats and lustrous, yet horrifying soundscapes. For those familiar with FOTN, this is most like their later work, with epic keys, dissonant guitar ostinatos and McCoy's bassy growl underscoring even the sweetest moments. However, pumping, industrial-edged metal dominates the album and you won't hear anything remotely goth until "Shine", a rockin', all-but-upbeat number with some brilliant goth vox (and some pretty shitey ones- you've been warned), by which time you've stopped expecting it. Standout metal tracks include "Pazuzu (Black Rain)" and the single "Penetration." Positively bitchin' riffs abound and are delivered with blistering energy. You will enjoy these for obvious reasons.Sensual flavours invade by stealth throughout, exemplified in "Melt (Catching of the Butterfly)", a subtle and multi-faceted track for which a good pair of headphones are mandatory. But my favourite tracks of all are the Zoons, divided into parts I & II (Saturation) and III (Wake World). Here the album is reprocessed, compiled, refined. The inimicable lilt of Nephilim guitar gives way to a gently pounding metal dirge as McCoy's vocals soar into Goth perfection. Remniscent of Ministry, Celtic Frost, even Pink Floyd, with an atmosphere of cosmic extrication from the worldly, one gets a sense from these tracks that the story being told (see below) is one of universal application- that their damnation and our suffering are one and the same. As with much of FOTN's material, the guise of a rock song with its romantic trappings is almost unnoticeably exploited to funnel a spiritual nausea right into the vein. Listen closely to the lyrics and an unmentionable evil exposes itself, lurking beneath a veneer of sweeping beauty. I mean how else can you get away with a lyric like 'You're lost for life/So lost/Your cunting life' (a tip of the dusty brim to The Exorcist's Pazuzu, no doubt) which a few bars later becomes 'your lust'.... anyway, the lyrics are genius. In summary, the album's great, a fascinating melange of diverse metal influences unflinchingly subjected to the Gothic aesthetic by an acknowledged grand magus of the form. It loses points because as the other reviews here point out, the vocals are occasionally very trite. This makes for great solitary listening but I find myself moderating when I play it around friends (who like myself are not Goths and are susceptible to the 'lameness' of things).