Fields of the Nephilim

Psychonaut

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As a teaser for Elizium, the Nephilim released this stand-alone single, arguably the band's crowning achievement in the studio. Instead of firing up another full-group arrangement, on the first version of the title track (subtitled "Lib. IIII"), the five instead initially used keyboards, creating a swell of chilling, sepulchral organ sounds and textures just as creepy and atmospheric as its regular work. Some guitar was used over the first part of the song, but otherwise, producer Buchanan and the Nephilim introduce dramatic percussion elements -- tolling bells, sudden shifts -- while McCoy conjures up appropriately pagan lyrics, borrowing a bit from H.P. Lovecraft as needed. When the band fully kicks toward the end, everything just gets that much more powerful as a result. The other two tracks are "Psychonaut Lib. II," an edit of the longer version focusing more on the regular band performance, and "Celebrate (Second Seal)," which adds some extra keyboards to The Nephilim album track and includes more brooding atmospherics and percussion at the end. Strikingly beautiful art design -- images of a worn, blue text with strange astrological charts and words -- completes the effect.

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