Right from the very beginning the death metal band Nephelium fascinated me because of their heritage. They are the first death metal band hailing from Dubai. Dubai to me is the Las Vegas of the Emirates with some of the riches people in the world dealing primarily in oil, but also massing major fortunes in the likes of real estate, sporting events, and the promotion of Western Decadence.
Although all of that sounds like a lot of fun it doesn’t exactly come across as cohesive to death metal. Especially technical death metal. Nephelium displaced this little stereotype in me right away by giving me an array of metal that might be light on the claimed technical side, but heavy on the cultural influence that makes their sound unique and very enjoyable.
If you head over to nephelium.bandcamp.com you can sample some of the tracks off the coming album Coils of Entropy. If you check out “Burial Ground,” “Halls of Judgement,” and the title track “Coils of Entropy” you will find some technical flair, but mainly a mix of old school death metal highlight with the sounds we so closely associate with Arab lands.
Of course with samples it’s hard to get a complete feel for what the sound of the band is going to be like and you never know if the production is complete or not, but the samples in this case do a great job of selling the band and building anticipation for the album.
Although now living in Toronto Nephelium seems to be holding on to the sounds of their youth and giving us a piece of their land in a way that all metal heads can get together and enjoy. If you’re tired of the same old shit, then it’s time to try something different and Nephelium certainly gave me that fix.
With some shows coming up in their new home town I encourage you to go check them out before they add death metal to the list of major industries exported from the playground of the rich: Dubai!
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