Title: Lord Of The Flies (2020 Special edition)
Genre: Gothic Rock
Release Date: 27th November 2020
Label: Dark Fortune Records
You know where you are with a band who drop massive clues before they utter a note. CANNIBAL CORPSE were never likely to be a synth duo from Austria, for example, and LADY GAGA wasn’t masquerading as a proponent of high-brow, cerebral neo-classical folkisms when she invented her moniker. SAVAGE GARDEN left us all confused, admittedly, hinting at being the coolest indie crossover band on the planet, while actually fopping about like pop’s limp lettuce. But generally, the clues are not misleading. And so, to NOSFERATU. What do you think? Guys dressed like vampires playing seriously dark, brooding Gothic Rock? Song titles about storms and burials and midnight and stuff? Lots of hairspray? All of this and more, and why not indeed. This is 1998 after all, and we are plunged into the icy waters of the “second wave of UK Goth” (it says here), and the band release fan-fave album ‘Lord Of The Flies’. Skip forward a bit to today, and here it is again, re-released as a special edition, standing defiantly against time like a sea-spray battered gravestone on a Whitby clifftop.
Let’s skip over the frequent line-up changes, bust-ups, flounces and side projects, and just look at this as a time capsule, buried lovingly and proudly back in the day, and now dug up and laid bare and out of context, on the soggy grass of nostalgia. Could be horrendous. I mean, how dated do SNEAKER PIMPS or THE FARM sound in 2021? But to be fair, a good album will always stand up and be counted, whenever it’s played and whatever decade it finds itself in, and ‘Lord Of The Flies’ is one such release.
A few seconds of stately intro on ‘Torturous’, and then bang! It’s off, fizzing away like a blackened roman-candle, big drums and big guitars in a driving, pummelling tumble of shapes and textures. And once everyone realised Andrew Eldritch was going to sit on his new songs like a sulky little child and not release them, bands from THE MERRY THOUGHTS to FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM thought “fuck it, let’s do his voice, but better”, and NOSFERATU were no exception. It’s like listening to Von but without the disdain and can’t-be-arsedness. And I’m all for that. So vocally, the album rattles and rumbles and growls and howls and sounds every bit the vehicle for passionate story-telling listeners of quality misery should expect.
‘Ascension’ cascades all over the place magnificently, ‘The Tempest’ will have you weeping into your bran-flakes, and there’s piano, plaintive guitars, and ridiculous amounts of drama all over ‘Witching Hour’. It’s worth mentioning at this point that the band were significant enough at the time to attract both Doc Milton (ALIEN SEX FIEND) and Rat Scabies (THE DAMNED) as guests on ‘Lord Of The Flies’, and these additions add a dimension of intrigue and polish to the whole. Indeed, the title track here has THE DAMNED, during their Goff phase, written all over it, and is an odd, and deeply moving little scare-piece, that still sounds absolutely timeless. Elsewhere, there’s the twisting, twirling tempests of ‘Darkness Brings’ and ‘Six feet Below’ (the only weak link here) or the pleading dynamics of ‘The Gauntlet’. And then there are the obligatory spade-full of bonus material, which I shall happily skip over, but you, dear reader, may indulge in with all the lustful enthusiasm of a middle-aged blood-sucker.
That ‘Lord Of the Flies’ has stood up so well is both a surprise and a joy (albeit a snarly lipped and ironic one of course), but then this genre was never meant to sound anything but archaic and timeless, that’s the whole nature of it. I have no doubt that this stubborn, windswept tooth, sticking from the ground like a middle finger on that clifftop in Whitby, will be there for all eternity, rattling and rumbling, growling and howling, being wonderfully dramatic and reeking of hairspray. Good stuff.
03. The Tempest
04. Witching Hour
05. The Gauntlet
06. Six Feet Below
07. Darkness Brings
08. Lord Of The Flies
09. The Night Is Young (Manic Mix)
10. Lucifer Rising (Pt.2)
11. The Gauntlet (Demon Seed Mix)
12. Darkness Brings (Visionary Vampyres Mix)
13. The Night Is Young
Damien DeVille – Guitar
Belle Star – Drums
Tim Vic – Vocals
Thom – Bass
https://officialnosferatu.co.uk / https://www.facebook.com/nosferatubandofficial
Total: 8 / 10