It’s been a very long time in fact 2008 album Deeper Visions was the last thing we heard from NFD and they have not played a show for a long time either. Typically they announced one in London with some great supports but a friend decided to get married that day, what you going to do? That’s about the only excuse I can justify missing a gig for, funerals do at least take place during the day and NFD would have been a great finale to one of those. Anyhew back to the task at hand and I did have something to console myself with, namely seven new tracks on this Reformations mini album and the prospect of new album ‘Waking The Dead’ to follow in October.
If you need a recap NFD comprise of various dwellers of the Goth rock scene including Tony Pettitt of Fields Of The Nephilim (bass), Peter ‘Bob’ White of Sensorium (vocals / guitar) and James McIlroy of Cradle Of Filth (guitar) amongst others. With that sort of calibre behind them you should be in no doubt that the band are a formidable force and I have always enjoyed them immensely myself.
It has to be said despite the long break the second play was pressed I was back in the midst of a sound I knew and loved. The selection of songs all have an incredibly familiar feel about them and ooze with the quality I would expect in terms of song writing, style and execution. The thick swagger of guitar and bass and Peter’s vocal growls are formidable and powerful and the sense of melody behind the track is majestic and impetuous. There is no getting away from the fact that the band do sound a hell of a lot like Fields Of The Nephilim and even lyrics about keeping the faith do little to sway from the fact. Still I am not complaining when it sounds as good and as fresh as this, it’s not like we are getting any new material from Fields themselves. ‘The Rapture’ is a mid-paced stomper bolstered by some added drum flourishes. It just takes a couple of listens for these songs to really get into your head and choosing a favourite is a really difficult task. They all sound like they would go down a storm live but obviously I am going to have to wait until next time to find that out for myself. By comparison ‘Remain In Chains’ shows the slower more brooding side of the band and it is like a dark sky ushering in an approaching storm and soaking you in its atmosphere before unleashing a torrent. The underlying guitars work around a somewhat maudlin atmosphere and the vocals are heartfelt as the track picks up the pace and soars off. As for ‘The Highwayman’ well there is some ‘Power’ behind this one and it would be a formidable stand off if it rode into town to sling iron with a ‘Preacher Man.’
It’s left to vocals and soothing acoustic parts including some surprise violin to carry off The Unknown and the guitar at the start of the similarly gentle ‘What Will be Will Be’ takes me right back to The Mission era Children before the track takes flight and swoops off. Finishing with the upbeat and infectiously catchy ‘One Slip’ this has certainly restored my faith and made it very clear that NFD are back with all guns firing.
If like me you have been looking for this online it would appear that the release date could have been put back. Resurrection Records are stating a late August release and as they are most likely to be in the know you may have to wait for this a bit longer.
(8/10 Pete Woods)