Formed back in 2001, NEPHELIUM have been silent for almost eight years. After putting out a second demo in 2004 they suddenly dropped off the map; where they've been or what they've been up to is relatively unknown, which adds a bit of mystery to them. Suddenly, they resurface with a full debut album. Whether or not it took those eight years to perfect this is probably a wild guess, but the music is certainly worth looking into if one is a fan of Death Metal.
"Coils Of Entropy" draws on bands like DEEDS OF FLESH, FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE and even HOUR OF PENANCE for a thick, old school Death Metal sound that is brutal, crushing and fortunately not montonous. The vocals are guttural, but not so guttural one cannot understand them and when mixed with the high pitched shrieks, sound even more disturbing... especially on a track like "Burial Grounds" where they sound like pig squeals at time. Musically, there is a bit of technicality involed in the solos but the music is pretty fast without much for melody (save in the solos). The main goal of NEPHELIUM is to strike hard and fast, but leave a lasting impression. Rarely will listeners get bored with any one track, whether it is the pulverizing Malediction with its 'bursts' of guitar and drum duo, or the slow, suffocating beat of "Hellborne" which has a bit more rhythm and groove, much like Deathcore.
The real deal breaker is the final epic "Coils Of Entropy." Usually fans expect either a massively epic track that is either perfected or too repetitive, or a brief track followed by five minutes of silence and either a surprise at the end or a feeling like those five minutes were a waste. Thankfully, NEPHELIUM stick with the first option, carrying the music all the way through. Here the band shows off their most technical side while throwing in a few good backing hooks amongst the solos, such as right around the middle of the track. This is definitely the kind of Death Metal track that fans will enjoy, and will hopefully be a concert staple because the energy the flows with this song is fantastic in the drums alone; along with the rest of the instruments the entire execution is smooth, flawless, and with no holes barred. It leaves a lasting impression that defines NEPHELIUM as a rising power in the Death Metal world and that their lengthy cocoon of time was worth the wait to get everything right on this debut. While some who are more fans of the melodic side of Death Metal might be disappointed, the track "Halls Of Judgment" has a few moments that just might entice them into getting into this as well. It may be a bit brief of an album overall, but certainly won't breeze by anytime soon.
(Online February 12, 2012)