Nephelium – Coils of Entropy by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs

Alex Zubair – guitars
Alan Madhavan – drums
Devlin Anderson– vocals
James Sawyer – guitars
Flo Ravet – bass

Burial Ground
Merciless Annihilation
Halls Of Judgement
Coils Of Entropy

The wonderful thing about odd combinations is how they often strangely work. Case in point – deep-fried Mars Bars, meerkats and insurance (who’d have thought it), and JLS condoms (if your aim was to put people off using them, which it probably wasn’t). Lou Reed and Metallica – well that’s just a lesson in how straying from the track can get you so very lost.

Treading their own unique path are Nephelium who have swapped the sands of Dubai for the snow of Canada over a career that has seen them touted as one of the first death metal bands to emerge from the region. Perhaps this extreme change in temperature is the reason behind the brutal overtones of the band’s debut release Coils of Entropy. Luckily though the cold hasn’t affected their ability to give their instruments a good thrashing.

Although only six tracks long, Coils of Entropy still manages to reach the 40 minute mark, in part due to the monstrous ten-minute title track lurking at the end, like some deepwater leviathan. Getting there though means taking on the preceding five tracks and as they range between five and eight minutes a piece that equals a lot of down-ear buggery. Best use protection then.

Most of the album runs ahead at a first-out-of-the-blocks pace but has the restless stride of John Cleese in the ‘Ministry Of Silly Walks’ sketch, preferring to move between time changes faster than the hands of a clock.

By death metal standards Nephelium aren’t as difficult to understand vocally as some, but Coils of Entropy is unlikely to make it as a karaoke classic. The album will hopefully please both new and old fans of the death metal scene alike through its old school brutality served with a touch of modern complexity.

Picking the best from the bunch, as so many like to, ‘Malediction’ deserves your attention for its blinding guitar solo alone, but will hold it thanks to its punishing energy and incredible closing scream. As with the movies these days – do not leave before the end of the credits.

Anyway, apparently written as a concept album about an entity witnessing the demise of the earth through the ages, Coils of Entropy makes you wonder if Nephelium know a little more about the 2012-end-of-the-world rumours than the rest of us…