A series of unfortunate events have left today’s metal scene almost completely watered down and irrelevant. New bands arising today turn up as mere ‘copycats’ of pre-existing movements or money hungry posers who grew up in Beverly Hills buying their way into stardom. It is due to this heavy metal ‘slump’ that many of us metal heads are re-focusing our attention on traditional metal standards and more ‘pure’ forms of metal. This is an exciting trend for metal classicists out there because we’re seeing a resurgence of older more experienced bands producing material that is not only new and fresh, but raw and can only be described as ‘metal at its core.’
I want to direct your attention to a specific band I’ve stumbled upon recently thanks to some friends in the Toronto scene, and that is of course, Nephelium. Nephelium first made their marks on the metal world back in the 90s when they participated as a major factor in the emerging metal movement in the Middle East. Hailing from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Nephelium’s back-story is enough to intrigue any metal fan. However, I am not easily impressed by demographic (or I guess geographic in this case) miracles and upheavals unless there is something concrete to admire in the music. Well…it turns out Nephelium’s music is literally a chunk of concrete slammed into your ears. Okay, that was corny and cheap…allow me to make up for it. Nephelium’s music is the perfect synthesis of excessively brutal death metal, sludgy riffs and vocals, and a surprising sense of music and instrumental virtuosity. They have more recently relocated to Toronto, Canada in order to reach new audiences with their merciless message, and while personnel changes are a challenge for any band, Nephelium is back stronger than ever!!!
I’ve given you a little bit of background, only so I can tell you about Nephelium’s upcoming release “Coils of Entropy.” The album will be released on February 7th and judging by the reviews that it’s getting it is going to do just fine. Positive reviews are rolling in by the masses from the likes of MetalUnderground.com and even members of the almighty King Diamond. I have been lucky enough to have heard the new 6-track album and all I can say is that I’m impressed. I am not afraid to admit that I am NOT an expert on death metal and I might even be overlooking some of the subtle splash points on the album, but what I can tell you is that this album does exactly what I would want a death metal album to do. Right out the gates with “Burial Ground” I felt as though I was struck in the balls with the raw obtrusiveness of Thor’s hammer!!! The second track “Merciless Annihilation” is a six minute masterpiece that, to me, sums up the purpose and core competencies of Nephelium. Thick crunchy riffs that give way to muddy grind beats combine with Devlin Anderson’s growling vocals to create an overwhelmingly intense musical experience.
Without boring you with technical details I can only praise the real musicianship that is displayed in all the album’s songs. A lot of metal bands today tend to forget about the groove and the melodic aspects of the guitar in favor of 100% thrashing riffs. Now, don’t get me wrong, the tempo and mood of the music is hard, heavy and fast all the way, but if you really listen to the intricate notes being played you will understand the appeal of this Arabian death metal quintet. I also want to point out the powerful high pitched scream delivered in the last minute of “Malediction.” Something about that was just fucking epic! As a casual listener of Death Metal I love the album and believe that Nephelium certainly has a place to shine in the metal industry.
I encourage everyone to check out their music and get to know Nephelium at the following sites: