Having built a considerable and passionate fanbase, the Nephilim approached their second album with confidence and a clutch of stunning new songs. The resulting, semi-self-titled release blows away the first by a mile (the art design alone, depicting an ancient, worn book with strange symbols, is a winner), being an elegantly produced and played monster of dark, powerful rock. Even if McCoy's cries and husked whispers don't appeal to all, once the listener gets past that to the music, the band simply goes off, incorporating their various influences -- especially a good dollop of pre-Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd (think songs like "One of These Days") -- to create a massive blast of a record. Buchanan again produces with a careful ear for maximum impact, whether it be the roaring rage of "Chord of Souls" or the minimal guitar and slight keyboard wash of "Celebrate"; McCoy's vocal on the latter is especially fine as a careful, calm brood that matches the music. Perhaps most surprising about the album is that it yielded an honest-to-goodness U.K. Top 40 hit with "Moonchild," which is very much in the vein of earlier songs like "Preacher Man" but with just enough of a catchier chorus and softer guitar part in the verse to make a wider mark. Though the first part of the album is quite fine, including such longtime fan favorites as "The Watchman" and "Phobia," after "Moonchild" the record simply doesn't let up, building to a fantastic three-song conclusion. "Celebrate" is followed by "Love Under Will," a windswept, gloomily romantic number with a lovely combination of the band's regular push and extra keyboards for effect. "Last Exit for the Lost" wraps everything up on an astonishing high; starting off softly with just bass, synths, one guitar, and McCoy, it then gently speeds up more and more, pumping up the volume and finally turning into a momentous, unstoppable tidal wave of electric energy.
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AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett