Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Nephelium - Coils Of Entropy

Coils Of Entropy
Independent Release

Originally founded in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Nephelium has gone through multiple changes throughout their decade long existence, including changes in musical direction, continual line-up reshuffles and a complete relocation to Toronto (Ontario, Canada). But after a few years of uncertainty, Nephelium finally solidified a line-up (Comprising of vocalist Devlin Anderson, guitarists Alex Zubair and James Sawyer, bassist Florian Ravet and drummer Alan Madhavan), and started playing live supporting the likes of Skinless, Neuraxis and Deicide.
Having proved themselves a formidable live act, Nephelium then set about recording some new music. And eight years after the release of their debut E.P. effort ‘Ignite The Wrath Of Silence’ (Which was independently released back in 2004), Nephelium have finally delivered their debut full-length effort ‘Coils Of Entropy’.
The most immediate thing about the opening track on Nephelium’s latest effort is just how brutal their take on death metal is. ‘Burial Ground’ (Which is also the first single lifted from the album) is every bit as unrelenting and crushing as you would expect from a band that aim to remain true to death metal’s roots (The band mention acts such as Death, Testament, Carcass, Cannibal Corpse, Obituary and Napalm Death as examples of those who have chosen the same path). Melody is limited solely to the guitarist’s lead breaks, which means that for the most part, Nephelium deliver an uncompromising and brutal sound in every other respect. But where the band excels over most is in their diversity of riffs, Anderson’s aggressive but clear vocals and their ability to keep things interesting throughout for the listeners, regardless of the songs’ long running time.
‘Merciless Annihilation’ (Which originally appeared on the band’s debut E.P.) is given a bit of a revamp and reworking here, and ties in perfectly with the album’s overall sound and direction, while the slower paced ‘Hellborne’ sees the band incorporate a bit more groove into their death metal sound (Which when combined with Anderson’s vocals, sounds in the vein of latter day Cannibal Corpse), which showcases the many styles the band are capable of, without sacrificing any of their aggression or bludgeoning approach to old school death metal.
Elsewhere, ‘Malediction’ is a stand out favourite with its greater technical edge and solid use of strong grooves on the guitar front (Although the unintentionally humorous vocals at the end of the song should have been reconsidered), while the ten minute closing title track ‘Coils Of Entropy’ shows that even over such an lengthy track, Nephelium has the song writing qualities to keep the listener enthralled at all times.
Nephelium isn’t necessarily bringing anything new to the table in terms of death metal, but what they deliver on ‘Coils Of Entropy’ is incredibly well done.
Nephelium may have spent their formative years in the underground scene’s shadow, but I have no doubt that with the release of ‘Coils Of Entropy’, things won’t be so quiet for the band.

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© Justin Donnelly