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Nephelium - "Coils of Entropy" (CD)

Nephelium - "Coils of Entropy" CD cover image

"Coils of Entropy" track listing:

1. Burial Ground (5:04)
2. Merciless Annihilation (6:17)
3. Hellborne (5:02)
4. Malediction (8:53)
5. Halls of Judgement (5:56)
6. Coils of Entropy (10:05)

Reviewed by on January 11, 2012

"There may not be much new ground broken, but it’s hard to notice that while having your cranium explode when the full force of 'Coils of Entropy' is brought down."

Chaos, skull-shattering annihilation, fields of the rotting dead, unstoppable riffs of destruction: these are the things that death metal thrived on for the better part of two decades before splintering off into sub-genre after sub-genre. Bringing back that feeling of proper early death metal bands such as Deicide, the debut full-length from Nephelium is a devastating slab of the old school with just a bit of a modern interpretation. There may not be much new ground broken, but it’s hard to notice that while having your cranium explode when the full force of “Coils of Entropy” is brought down.

The music of this formerly middle-eastern and now Canadian act moves at a constant, crushing chug with impressive control shown over every instrument. Unexpectedly, the band’s heritage really doesn’t play a role in any of the tracks. Nephelium most definitely isn’t Arkan or Orphaned Land, and there’s basically no experimentation with traditional ethnic sounds. “Coils of Entropy” is straight up death metal through and through.

In another unexpected move, some of the album’s tracks go well beyond the norm for the upper limit on standard death metal song length. The presence of eight and ten minute tracks shouldn’t scare off old school metal fans or get prog-death excited however, as these songs maintain consistent interest without using major style or tempo shifts. The brutality is always kept up, but there’s a veneer of technicality right over everything. It doesn’t go too deep though, as the end result is essentially ‘90s death metal with a few extra layers of complexity, rather than something fully in the tech-death realm like The Faceless.

While not the most original thing to ever happen to the metal realm, Nephelium’s introduction to the headbanging masses is a completely solid choice for brutal death metal fans. “Coils of Entropy” keeps up the extreme heaviness necessary to please fans of straight death metal, and manages to throw in a good bit of complexity without getting pretentious or overly melodic.

Highs: Super heavy and has enough complexity to remain interesting.

Lows: Nothing new happens, there is a decent amount of repetition, and some of the pig squeels are a bit off.

Bottom line: Proper old school, completely brutal death metal with a bit of added complexity.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)