INTERVIEW: Nephilim | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Will Gorman

Stockton metal quintet Nephilim unleash their debut album, Demonic Society, this month; a collection of songs which they believe reflects today’s ‘demonic society’. It’s a remarkable debut from an assured young band who have come on leaps and bounds in their two years together.

“I feel like we’ve always written thematically, or at least tried to tell a story.” Lead guitarist James says of their debut full-length. It’s clear they’re not afraid to tackle weighty subjects in their music, with tracks covering media misrepresentation, war, governmental control, purgatory, toxic relationships and abuse, possession and drug addiction.

While James asserts that casual listeners can still find much to enjoy, he also believes it’s important for the band to talk about issues affecting young people. “I think it is important as some people look to others for a voice, and I hope one day our music can help people through their struggles in life. Sometimes people don’t feel like they can talk about certain matters openly, but anyone can put on their headphones and escape from real life for a little while.”

“Tackling subjects like mental health and politics is so important for people our age as these are the subjects most people have very strong but usually different opinions on. You should never be afraid to voice your own opinions.” Agrees rhythm guitarist Conor.

I hope one day our music can help people through their struggles in life

What’s immediately obvious on listening to Demonic Society is the clarity of vision Nephilim have for such a young band. Technically proficient, musically adept and sonically challenging, it’d be easy to imagine them sharing a stage with the likes of Killswitch Engage, Ghost and Asking Alexandria, all of whom they cite as influences. The instrumental title track is fittingly foreboding, with a creepy intro making way for overdriven guitars and weighty riffs. Created By Design’s fearsome opening growl leads into a thrilling assault of scattergun guitars and fast and furious drums, while Remember Me’s striking guitar solos and remarkable time changes is a particular highlight, with singer Cal’s voice veering from clean and melodic to raw and breathless. The epic Beyond The Gates takes the pace down a notch with its memorable chorus, and Wicked Times’ brooding intensity and use of piano and acoustic guitar shows the breadth of musicianship Nephilim are capable of; equally comfortable with hard-hitting metal as with soul-searching rock.

Having spent two years honing and redefining their sound, James reluctantly admits the metal scene in Teesside is sparse to say the least. “I feel like we’ve played with the main contenders and it is a regular occurrence to see the same names on the same bills at the same venues. I suppose with this in mind, while our community is small, it actually brings us strength.”

The live aspect of the band is something they feel is incredibly important, and with an album launch show at Stockton’s Georgian Theatre on Friday 20th September, they’re keen to show off what they can do. “We always put on a show no matter the size of the venue or crowd.” James says. “No one wants to watch five guys stand motionless when a metal band is playing.” Conor agrees. “With high energy music, you need to uphold a high energy atmosphere.”

Nephilim launch Demonic Society at The Georgian Theatre, Stockton on Friday 20th September


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