‘Nephila’ album review
by Maria Glover
It’s a grey day as I press play on the debut self-titled album from Swedish 7-piece Nephila, but by the end of this multi-faceted beaut, I feel reinvigorated and alive. If you thought the first single and first track on the album sums up Nephila – guess what, you’re mistaken. It’s a journey through a range of influences from folk, prog, 60s and 70s rock, and a touch of blues. It’s big. It’s impressive. It’s a little addictive to be honest.
By far the standout track for me is ‘Belladonna’ – keys, organ and faultlessly beautiful vocals give the song a celestial feel, and it brings tears to my eyes and generates goosebumps. My breath hitches in my throat and I genuinely feel like I need this to survive at several key moments in the song. It’s stunning. Like emerging from deep, dark water, revived.
First single, ‘White Bones’, has heavy, funky music and melodic vocals against pounding drums and a smooth, rumbling bass. The dual vocals gel together superbly and it’s a great track and a great start to the album. ‘Who Are You’ has a more retro sound, much more prog in style with a big chorus and sugary vocals. The harmonising is out of this world.
Wholly unique is ‘Mushroom Creatures’, a theatrical spiritual song, while they show a more psychedelic side in ‘Guidance to Agony’; with a heavy riff the track rises and falls and arresting vocals are woven through like silk. This is definitely a song to absorb yourself in.
‘Clavata’ is wild and energetic, with a driving drum beat and prominent bassline, raucous vocals mixed in with the sublimely sweet. It’s catchy and exhilarating, a tumultuous electrical storm.
Closing track ‘Alla Galaxers Centrum’ (centre of all galaxies) is a 9 minute banquet. The gentle strum of a guitar leads to lush melodic vocals, it’s slow paced, the duet of 2 voices intertwined as 1, until it picks up pace at 3 minutes. It’s a fiend that infiltrates your mind and won’t let go.
7 tracks and around 35 minutes long this is an album from an exciting band that you just must listen to at least once. It’s breath-taking and refreshing and I couldn’t really fault it.
Bandcamp – https://nephilamusic.bandcamp.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/swenephila/