Nephelium originated in Dubai, UAE, which is just across the strait from Iran. Metal is exploding throughout the region, even in Iran, where they executed headbangers who joined in on the recent uprisings. Middle Eastern musicians might spend 3 hours in neighborhood mosques and later practice for 4 hours with their black metal bands.
Metal fans in the Middle East descend on sold-out Desert Rock festivals. Metallica, Machine Head and NWOBHM veterans have played to delirious response. The region’s fans treat the scene as political expression, as a bonding to humanity through the power of music. They sense peace and freedom in headbanging.
Nephelium is the first of their kind from the UAE. Though they migrated to Toronto ten years ago, founding members Alex Zubair and Alan Madhavan realized death metal knows no borders. Dubai's a tiny town. The band had to hit the road.
Coils Of Entropy violently blasts through the iPod’s earbuds like a haboob sandstorm. Six scorching tracks are executed with terrifying precision. The vocals seethe like an angry jinni with a vacuum-cleaner hose jammed into a hellish place.
Meat-grinder guitars slash through tortured arrangements filled with more changes than one can shake a scimitar at. From the first track, Coils Of Entropy's wastes no time unleashing angular murder. Drums brutalize time signatures with the help of a bassist named Flo. Flo? Never mind, we're on the blood-drenched cusp of world peace here.
Nephelium then uncoils Coils Of Entropy's most vicious attack, "Hellborne". It pounds with hammers on Damascus steel and marches the listener into desolation. The remainder of the album batters us for 15 minutes of unrelenting cruelty.
Throughout the tracks, Alex Zubair's solos are wickedly complex while taking us back to Old Morocco. The entire album slithers with Arab melody. World peace through death metal? Something's definitely happening when we hear reports of Emirate girls tattooing tramp-stamps of the logo of Israel's Orphaned Land on their backs.
Coils Of Entropy might be a bloodthirsty battle cry in the fight for a more peaceful world...or just a way to leave old Shaytan's ears ringing.
(released February 7, 2012)