Open main menu

Fields of the Nephilim are an English gothic rock band formed in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England in 1984. The band's name refers to a Biblical race of giants or angel-human hybrids, known as the Nephilim. Although the band have not received substantial mainstream success, their seminal sound has proved highly influential, especially in the genre of gothic rock.[1]

Fields of the Nephilim
FOTN classic logo.jpeg
Background information
OriginStevenage, Hertfordshire, England, United Kingdom
GenresGothic rock
Years active1984–1991, 1998–present
LabelsSituation Two
Beggars Banquet
Jungle Records
Associated actsRubicon
Last Rites
The Eden House
MembersCarl McCoy
Gav King
Adam Leach
Tony Pettitt
Lee Newell
Past members(Album collaborators)
John 'Capachino' Carter
Paul Wright
Alexander 'Nod' Wright
Peter Yates
Gary Wisker


Early years (1984–1991)Edit

Fields of the Nephilim's initial sound incorporated elements of hard rock, gothic rock, heavy metal and psychedelic rock, and comprised a bass and guitar driven sound underpinned by McCoy's growled vocals. Lyrically, the band incorporated magical themes, referencing the Cthulhu Mythos, the Sumerian religion, Chaos magic and the works of Aleister Crowley.

The band's classic logo

The band had a "dust and death" image, associated with characters from Sergio Leone's Spaghetti Westerns and often wore cowboy dusters with a weather-beaten look during photoshoots. This weather-beaten look was attained by dusting themselves down with, by their own admission, Mother's Pride flour.[2] This also proved problematic for the band as in May 1988, Nottinghamshire Police detained the band whilst a suspect substance was tested for drugs. This was later determined to be nothing but flour from the stage set.[3]

Their debut EP, Burning the Fields, was released in 1985 by Situation Two records (an imprint of Beggars Banquet Records). The band "upgraded" to Beggars Banquet in 1986 to release "Power" and "Preacher Man", and their first album, Dawnrazor which topped the Indie chart in 1987.[4] The next release, "Blue Water", was the first Fields of the Nephilim single to reach the UK charts (#75). It was followed by "Moonchild", lead single from the second LP The Nephilim which reached number 28 in the UK charts.[5]

Psychonaut was released in May 1989 and peaked at number 35; the ten-minute track indicated a slight shift for the band toward a more experimental and intense sound. This single/EP was a candle-bearer for the polished and highly produced Elizium album (1990). Produced by Pink Floyd / David Gilmour engineer Andy Jackson[6] (taking over from previous band producer Bill Buchanan), the album was preceded by the single "For Her Light", which clipped the British Top 40 in its first week of release. A remixed version of "Sumerland (Dreamed)", released in November 1990, peaked at number 37.

In 1991, the band played their final gigs, a two-day 'Festival of Fire' in London. The final releases of this era are the live CD Earth Inferno and video Visionary Heads, followed by the compilation Revelations.

Departure of McCoy and hiatus (1991–1998)Edit

Frontman McCoy left the band in 1991.[7] The remaining members, together with singer Andy Delaney, chose not to continue with the "Fields of the Nephilim" name and recorded instead under the name Rubicon.[8] The band released two albums before disbanding: What Starts, Ends in 1992 and Room 101 in 1995.

Meanwhile, McCoy formed a new group called Nefilim[9] recruiting guitarist Paul Miles, drummer Simon Rippin and bassist Cian Houchin. The band played some gigs in 1993, showcasing some of their new material. According to McCoy,[10] the release of their debut album, Zoon, was held back for several years due to disagreements with the record label. Zoon was eventually released in 1996 and featured a distinctly heavier sound[11] than McCoy's previous works.

Reunion and new album (1998–2002)Edit

On 15 August 1998, McCoy and Pettitt held a press conference[12] at the Zillo Festival in Germany, announcing their future plans to collaborate under two separate monikers, Fields of the Nephilim (along with the Wright brothers) and The Nephilim (an altered spelling of McCoy's solo project).[13]

According to different original band members, the band was rehearsing and writing the next Fields of the Nephilim album (with the exception of Yates). However, the awaited reunion of the original band line-up never happened.

In May 2000, McCoy released "One More Nightmare (Trees Come Down)", the first Fields of the Nephilim single with their new label, Jungle Records. It contained newly worked versions of "Trees Come Down" and "Darkcell," both originally released on the Burning the Fields EP in 1984. Between June and August 2000, the band made four live appearances at European festivals, (now featuring former Nefilim members Rippin and Miles), at Woodstage, Eurorock, Roskilde and M'era Luna music festivals.

In 2002, Jungle Records and Metropolis Records released the first Fields of the Nephilim studio album since Elizium, entitled Fallen. The release was not authorised by the band, and consists of unfinished recordings from 1997-2001, the 2000 reworkings of "Trees Come Down" and "Darkcell", and a previously unreleased demo by The Nefilim. The release was disowned by the band for many years,[14] and only one song from it, "From The Fire," has been performed live.

Mourning Sun and Ceromonies (2005–2008)Edit

Fifteen years after Elizium, McCoy released Mourning Sun, his fourth full-length studio album under the name Fields of the Nephilim. The album had seven original songs, with a cover version of Zager and Evans's "In the Year 2525" included as a bonus track on the first 5000 copies.

In interviews following the release of the album Mourning Sun, McCoy mentions collaborating with ghost musicians but only John "Capachino" Carter is officially credited on the album.

In 2006, some European venues announced a tour was to take place, although this was never officially confirmed by the band. In spite of high ticket sales, none of the gigs occurred.[15] Through the band's official website, McCoy took pains to emphasize that he had at no time confirmed these dates with promoters or venues, and reiterated to fans that nobody should buy tickets for such events until they had heard official announcements through the band's website that such live performances were to go ahead.

In May 2007, McCoy performed as Fields of the Nephilim for the first time in seven years, at the London Astoria with Gavin King on bass, Lee Newell on drums, and Gizz Butt and Steve Fox-Harris on guitars. According to the band's website, the event was filmed by video director Richard Stanley,[16] who had directed videos for the original band's singles: however, due to poor quality issues with the recording & filming it was abandoned.

‘’Ceromonies’’ was the culmination of a 2 night event sponsored by Metal Hammer magazine in which the band played material spanning the band’s career. Performed at London’s O2 Shepherds Bush Empire the band performed to sell-out crowds. The line-up for this event that featured on the live album and dvd was McCoy, King and Newell with the addition of Carter and Endwards. Highlights of this period included the band's biggest ever headline show to date at the 2008 M'era Luna Festival, where the 'Ceromonies' line-up performed in front of over 23,000 people In June 2008, a DVD entitled Live in Düsseldorf 1991 was released. Sacred Symphony released the DVD & Double CD box set as well as a double LP vinyl version of Ceromonies (Ad Mortem Ad Vitam) on 16 April 2012, consisting of recordings and footage from the two concerts. The vinyl version does not come with the live DVD.[17] It was also released as a Collectible box set coming in a wooden box with the Ceromonies logo and title branded on the wooden lid.[18]

Tony Pettit rejoined the band in 2013 and performs on stage as the band's live bass player. Since 2008, McCoy has performed steadily every year under the name Fields of the Nephilim at venues and festivals across Europe, with an occasional change of musician around a core of Lee Newell (on drums).

Tom Edwards died in 2017 from suspected heart failure whilst touring in America with Adam Ant.

The Darkness Before Dawn (2016)Edit

On 1 July 2014, Carl McCoy announced that the band was back in the studio "...recording and compiling the most important elements created and gathered."[19] In December 2014, the band debuted two new songs live onstage, "Earthbound" and "Prophecy".[20] "Prophecy" was released as a single on the Sacred Symphony label available initially as download only on iTunes on 17 March 2016. Promoted as a band single, the track did not feature Pettitt. The band confirmed that a physical release on both CD and vinyl, containing exclusive artwork and bonus material would follow.[21][needs update]


In 2001, Nod and Paul Wright formed a new band, Last Rites: this band released two full-length albums, Guided by Light (2001) and The Many Forms (2005).

Pettitt and guitarist Stephen Carey are currently recording and performing as The Eden House, a musical collective with a changing line-up of artists including Julianne Regan, Monica Richards, Bob Loveday (violinist in Bob Geldof's band), and Andy Jackson. Pettitt is also a member of NFD.

John 'Capachino' Carter released the album Moving In the Shadows, under the band name XII, in 2015.[22]

Cian Houchin has performed and recorded albums as the frontman for Saints of Eden.[23]

Paul Chousmer toured with the Circus Archaos show Metal Clown (1991–92).[24] He subsequently formed the bands Another Green World and Zuvuya.

Fields of the Nephilim inspired a number of other bands, including Sólstafir, Watain and Katatonia.[25]


From 1988, during the band's period of mainstream attention following the release of Dawnrazor and Psychonaut, the British music newspaper Melody Maker began to run various spoof articles about the band. This culminated in a regular feature called The Nod Corner which purported to be written by Nephilim drummer Nod Wright and which took a satirical view on the band's baleful and dramatic image. Nod Wright appeared to take the spoof graciously.[26]


Current lineupEdit

  • Carl McCoy - vocals (1984–present)
  • Tony Pettitt - bass (1984–1991, 1998–2000, 2013–present)
  • Adam Leach - lead guitar (2017–present)
  • Lee Newell - drums (2007–present)

Former membersEdit

  • Gary Wisker - saxophone (1984–1985)
  • Paul Wright - guitar (1984–1991, 1998–1999)
  • 'Nod' Alexander Wright - drums (1985–1991, 1998–1999)
  • Peter Yates - guitar (1985–1991)
  • John 'Capachino' Carter - bass (drums/guitars/keys/vocals - studio) (2000–2009)
  • Andy James - guitar (2012–2015)
  • Tom Edwards - guitar (2008–2016; died 2017)
  • Gavin King - guitar (2007–2019)



Year Title UK Indie Chart UK Albums Chart[27]
May 1987 Dawnrazor #1 #62
Sep 1988 The Nephilim #2 #14
Sep 1990 Elizium #22
Apr 1991 Earth Inferno (Live) #39
Oct 2002 Fallen
Nov 2005 Mourning Sun
April 2012 Ceromonies (Live + DVD)


Year Title UK Indie Chart UK Singles Chart[27]
Oct 1986 "Power" #24
Apr 1987 "Preacher Man" #2
Jul 1987 "Burning the Fields (EP)" #2
Oct 1987 "Blue Water" #1 #75
Jun 1988 "Moonchild" #1 #28
May 1989 "Psychonaut" #2 #35
Jul 1990 "For Her Light" #54
Nov 1990 "Sumerland (Dreamed)" #37
May 2000 "One More Nightmare (Trees Come Down A.D.)"
Sep 2002 "From the Fire" #62
Mar 2016 "Prophecy"

Other releasesEdit

  • Burning the Fields, 1985 (EP)
  • Returning to Gehenna, 1986 (EP)
  • BBC Radio 1 - Live in Concert, 1992
  • Laura, 1992 (compilation)
  • Revelations, 1993 (compilation)
  • From Gehenna to Here, 2001 (compilation)
  • Genesis and Revelations , 2006 (unofficial release & DVD)
  • Five Albums, 2013 (compilation of the first three studio albums, Earth Inferno and mixes)
  • Singles & Mixes, 2013 (compilation)


  • Forever Remain, 1988 (live)
  • Morphic Fields, 1989
  • Visionary Heads, 1991 (live)
  • Revelations, 1993
  • Revelations/Forever Remain/Visionary heads, 2002 (compilation DVD)
  • Paradise Regained (Live in Duesseldorf), 2008 DVD


  1. ^ "Celebrate: Fields of the Nephilim's 'The Nephilim' at 25". PopMatters. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  2. ^ "Sumerland: Press: Sounds, 1988". Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  3. ^ "Flour power Neph 'busted'". New Musical Express. 28 May 1988. p. 3. ISSN 0028-6362.
  4. ^ Sutherland, Steve (16 January 1988). "A fistful of dynamite". Melody Maker. p. 24. ISSN 0025-9012.
  5. ^ Collins, Andrew (30 November 1991). "Bluffer's Guide to Goth". New Musical Express. p. 30. ISSN 0028-6362.
  6. ^ "Biography". Andy Jackson Music. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  7. ^ "Sumerland: Press: Melody Maker, October 1991". Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  8. ^ "Sumerland: Press: Rubicon, Legacy, 1992". Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  9. ^ "Sumerland: Press: Nefilim in Zillo, 1993". Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  10. ^ Carl McCoy in Orkus Magazine, 1998, mentioning the album "could have appeared four years earlier". Accessed through Sumerland on 28 July 2009.
  11. ^ "Nefilim - Zoon - Reviews - Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives". Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  12. ^ "Sumerland: Press: Zillo Press Conference". Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  13. ^ "Sumerland: Press: Zillo Press Conference".
  14. ^ "News". Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  15. ^ "View topic - Nephilim Tour Cancelled? :: Heartland :: The Sisters of Mercy Forum". Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  16. ^ "Other Works: Music Videos [Between Death and the Devil]". Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  17. ^ "FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM released Ceromonies 2-CD live album". Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  18. ^ "Fields of the Nephilim Ceromonies Collector Box-Set". Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  20. ^ "Fields of The Nephilim debut two new songs". Post-Punk. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  21. ^ "Fields Of Nephilim announce new single – first since 2005 – available today". Louder Than War. 17 March 2016.
  22. ^ Guillemyn, Wim (14 January 2015). "Moving In The Shadows". Peek-A-Boo music magazine. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  23. ^ "Rock Realms Interview - Saints Of Eden". Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  24. ^ "Archaos". Retrieved 15 January 2013.
  25. ^ "Celebrate: Fields of the Nephilim's 'The Nephilim' at 25". PopMatters. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  26. ^ 'The Nod Corner' - article in Melody Maker, December 1989 (hosted on [1])
  27. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 199. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.

External linksEdit