Album Review: Nephelium – Coils of Entropy

Nephelium [UAE]
Coils of Entropy
Full Length
Brutal Death Metal Nephelium – Merciless Annihilation by heavymetaltribune

It seems that extreme metal is thriving in the UAE, with bands like Nervecell garnering international attention with their brand of ethnic-infused death/thrash metal. Brewing deep in the underground as well comes bands playing a more brutal style of death metal in the form of Nephelium (featuring ex-Nervecell session drummer Alan), and Coils of Entropy is the band’s first self-released full length album, 8 years after their previous release, 2004’s Ignite the Wrath of Silence EP and the relocation of the band to Canada.

The battery by drummer Alan greets the listener instantly as the album begins with Burial Ground, and it is instantly made known that Coils of Entropy will be an aggressive onslaught on the aural senses, as slab after slab of solid and heavy riffs greet the listener. But as already evident from the beginning, perhaps the main highlight on the album is the drumming of Alan, who unleashes inhuman blasting sections with relative ease, never missing a single beat at all. On top of that, Alan also constantly directs the bands in terms of their tempo, and he shifts between time signatures and pace as if it were his second nature. His hard hits on the skins and martial style of playing on the snare easily make him and his instrument one of the main driving forces behind the music, on top of the crushing riffs of guitarists Alex and James. The axe-wielding duo also make use of techniques prominent in death metal with proficiency, often punctuating the chugging riffs with sweet, low-stringed pinch-harmonics. They also often engage in duelling guitar solos, with each of them displaying their unique styles on their instruments. Songs like Malediction also give bassist Florian some personal time to display his style.

The songs on the album, while mostly sticking to the brutal death metal format, also sees each of the musicians displaying their abilities, often littering the songs with technical and almost progressive sections, such as those in the middle of Merciless Annihilation. Also, unlike pioneers of this sub-genre like Suffocation that at times choose to have disjointed segments as part of their songwriting style, Nephelium chooses instead to constantly bury listeners in a barrage of noise, with the cacophony of the drums and guitars in the background. The band also constantly shifts between fast moments and slower, heavier and more intense moments when least expected, surprising listeners and keeping them interested throughout, such as on Hellborne, and the slow, chugging riffs on such slower moments can almost literally asphyxiate the listener from the sudden suspense in the atmosphere. There are also melodic moments, such as on Halls of Judgement, before anybody starts groaning that this is nothing but another piece of boring, brutal death metal album with no variety. The brilliance of the band’s songwriting is such that even longer tracks such as the 9-minute long Malediction and 10-minute closer Coils of Entropy constantly keeps the listener engaged, with not a single boring moment, with each of the track containing almost progressive structures in terms of the variation and time signatures contained in each song.

Coils of Entropy is nothing, but a brilliantly executed album with each member of the band being extremely proficient on their instruments, backed by excellent songwriting which nicely displays the band’s aggressive style of brutal death metal. The clean and clear production quality of the album helps in making every single instrument ring out clearly, and ensures that none are buried within the mix, and this certainly puts the band at an advantage in displaying their capabilities, and definitely marks a good start for metal in 2012.

Nephelium on the internet:

©2012 Heavy Metal Tribune | Hong Rui

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: