(by FONDAS SUMERSON)
A Fields of the Nephilim concert is by itself very important news for Goth rock fans. Therefore a 4 days German tour along with the Merciful Nuns was definitely not to be missed. The Greek Nephilim Legion had to be a part of this Goth rock celebration, just like 2 years ago, on the previous German tour of the Nephs in 2010. So we, the Reanimators as part of the Dawnrazor Nephilim fan club, joined the tour through Germany. A bus was to carry around 30 Neph maniacs from Hamburg to Berlin, then to Leipzig and finally to Cologne: four gigs in four different cities, with two of the best bands of mystical Goth rock and a lot of good old friends from all over Europe together. In other words, the perfect circumstances for the trip of a lifetime.
DAY ONE – HAMBURG 28.11.2013
After the Dawnrazors’ meeting at the hotel bar, we headed to the famous Markthalle venue. Upon entering the venue we were faced with a huge merchandise stall, filled with Neph & Nuns goodies. A special mention should be made to the new Nephilim t-shirt, designed exclusively for the German and UK dates, which is one of the best t-shirts the band has ever made. At around 19:45 the lights go out and the darkness is interrupted by Artaud’s face on the two video-walls on stage, reciting the first lyrics of “Exosphere”. One by one the Nuns appeared on stage and their mystical journey into the astral world began. Luxifer’s light show was outstanding, different in every song, transfixing the audience from the very first minute. The video projections accompanied the songs perfectly, containing lyrics and visuals related to the ancient gods/astronaut theme. If you ask me, this was a very bright idea, getting the audience involved in the meaning of every song. They played a 50 minute set consisting of songs from almost all of their albums, but nothing from Garden of Delight’s stuff. I was expecting at least one song from their glorious past, mainly because of the recent “rediscovered” release of G.O.D.’s back catalogue. Nevertheless even without G.O.D.’s classics, their show was very captivating and impressive, full of the NUNS’ old and new dark anthems. Artaud is a fantastic frontman who feels every word he sings. In one word: perfection!
Exosphere BlackBody Supernovae The Maelstrom Genesis Revealed Ancient Astronauts Body of Light God Aeon Hypogeum
After a 15 min break the lights went out again and the first notes of “Dead But Dreaming” filled the hall. These few seconds were enough to spread ecstasy in the audience. Carl was the last one to come on stage…Through smoke and light, “chord of souls” hit us like a thunderstorm. People were jumping and moshing all around and this kind of reaction lasted through “for her light” which followed. Then it was time for the big surprise of the playlist … “At the gates of silent memory” left everyone in awe!!! This was a truly magical moment and a very emotional one for me personally, as this song is one of my all time Neph favorites.
Tony’s return has added a lot to the band, both visually and in terms of sound. The image of Tony and Carl together on stage is bewitching and acts as a time travel machine. Tony’s personal touch in songs like “Xiberia”, “New Gold Dawn” and “Mourning Sun” (in the recording of which he did not participate) is more than obvious. The guitarists, Gav and Andy, were also great and their playing was accurate, emotional and powerful. The Nephs played a set of one hour and twenty minutes, which was one their best since 2008. This was the perfect opening for the whole series of gigs that would follow.
Dead But Dreaming Chord of Souls For Her Light At the Gates of Silent Memory Moonchild Endemoniada New Gold Dawn Xiberia Last Exit for the Lost ———————— The Watchman Mourning Sun
After the gig we had a lot of beers, delighted with the performance of both bands. Since we had an early morning trip to Berlin, we left the venue relatively soon in order to get a few hours of rest for the second gig in a row.
DAY TWO – BERLIN 29.11.2013
Early in the morning, the Dawnrazors got on board of the coach with direction to Berlin. Tunes of the Nephs and the Nuns were the soundtrack of the trip. One can easily imagine our excitement, travelling through the cold German landscape, listening to “Endemoniada”, “Watchman” or “The Maelstrom” by the Nuns and heading for the next Nephs/Nuns gig… In the afternoon we reached our destination and after a quick lunch and a little rest we were ready for the second gig.
It was the Postbahnhof venue this time, a bit smaller than Hamburg’s venue. The Nuns ruled the stage once again playing the exact same setlist though. Artaud, Jon and Jawa, all in excellent shape, delivered darkness to the audience who seemed to absorb it eagerly. Outstanding performance again!.
At around 21:00 o’clock the Nephs started their show in the same way. The crowd’s enthusiasm was apparent in the concert hall. Typical of a Nephilim gig, many towers were raised by the Greek and German Legions and everybody was in high spirits. This time “Psychonaut” was on the setlist, allowing the bass lord to blow our minds with his playing. It was sheer excitement to see and hear Tony play the bass lines of this epic and spiritual track! This easily led us in ecstasy… Overall, a hell of a gig again.
Dead But Dreaming Chord of Souls For her Light At the Gates of Silent Memory Love Under Will Watchman Endemoniada New Gold Dawn Psychonaut Mourning Sun ——————– Moonchild Last Exit for the Lost
DAY THREE LEIPZIG – 30.11.2013
The Der Anker venue in Leipzig was the only one that was far from our hotel so the coach carried us there, playing the appropriate music of course, easily getting us in the right mood. The venue was excellent with a big gothic arch “crowning” the stage. It was a great pleasure to see some good friends from the French and German Merciful Nuns lodges there. So like in the previous nights, the Nuns came on stage at 19:45 with the same set and created the usual haunting atmosphere that only they can produce. At this gig the Merciful Nuns Greek lodge raised a tower during “the maelstrom”, at a very intense, invocation-like part of the song and the energy of the Logders mixed with Artaud’s obsessive performance of this dark Goth hymn. A very intense moment of the concert, that was. The NUNS ruled the stage for 50 minutes making us sing along.
21:00 o’clock again. Tony , Gav and Andy appeared on stage and after the last notes of “dead but dreaming” Carl joined them on stage in a fan frenzy that was rewarded with “chord of souls”. The moshing started immediately. Again, towers were raised from the Greek and German legions in some songs and the mood was excellent. They performed exactly the same set like in the previous day’s gig and the fans really love it lot. You really can’t get enough of “At the gates…”, can you? Definitely NOT! “Moonchild” and “Last Exit…” wrapped up the set in the best possible way.
Dead But Dreaming Chord of Souls For her Light At the Gates of Silent Memory Love Under Will Watchman Endemoniada New Gold Dawn Psychonaut Mourning Sun —————– Moonchild Last Exit for the Lost
DAY FOUR: COLOGNE – 01.12.2013
Same time like in the previous gigs, the Nuns came on stage for the last time, playing the same excellent list of songs and taking us to a final journey into the Exosphere. Great performance once again, accompanied by intensive towering throughout the gig. This time the Belgian Merciful Nuns lodge joined us in building towers and we really enjoyed the sense of brotherhood between the Lodges! “God/Aeon” was a special moment of every Nuns gig. All lights turned dark red and Artaud, like an ancient prophet or a high priest, “commanded” a powerful beam of white light. A mystical atmosphere that cannot be described adequately with words. One has to witness a NUNS’ show to fully comprehend its inner strength and true effect.
After a small break Carl and his gang conquered the stage for their final show. Great performance with lots of power and emotion. All their hits from the previous gigs were played. Special mention must be made to the cult track “dawnrazor” which was offered as a gift from the Nephs to the Dawnrazors ( Greek-German-Swedish-French-American guys) that travelled around Europe to see the band in all 4 gigs. I also have to refer to the 3 floor tower that the Greek Legion raised during “Last Exit for the Lost”. Three people on top of each other’s shoulders, arms wide spread, invoking the Nephilim!…This really looked like the tribal totem of the Earth Inferno live album, a fitting tribute to the monumental shows of the Nephilim in 2013…It would be no exaggeration to say that these four shows were the best of the band since 2007! The Nephilim are in top shape and NOW is the perfect time for their return to record making!
Dead But Dreaming Chord of Souls At the Gates of Silent Memory Love Under Will Watchman Endemoniada New Gold Dawn Dawnrazor Last Exit for the Lost ———————— Moonchild Psychonaut
So there you have it, this is a review of the truly outstanding German tour of the Nephilim and the Merciful Nuns! All in all it was a magical time filled with the music of our hearts and many great friends from all over the world. Would I ever do it again? Anytime…
Forever Remain / Sarru Mass