On February 7th 2012, a Death Metal band has risen from the chronicles of numerous changes, and centered their expertise with congruent goals and vision to release their first album. Although it has taken them years to master their debut, Nephelium's ten-year history has taken them on a rugged path that finally produced the independent, self-released album titled 'Coils Of Entropy'.
After multiple lineup changes, the original two members Alan Madhavan on drums, and guitarist Alex Zubair, started Nephelium in Dubai. As life tends to take us different places in the world, it also brought Nephelium to Toronto where they formed the roots for the basis of the band's future. However many continent changes and personal detriments to our well-being a human can endure, Metal in all its beauty brought these men together with perseverance in common. What better time in musicians' lives than to create music to change the world, an album that was introduced with a mutually symbolic theme of Entropy.
"Our lives as individuals at the time were a whirlwind of chaos, in different aspects," said bassist Florian Ravet. "We all had personal events and eras in our lives that were significant to us in conjuring up this title. Understand that in that void there is still energy, energy that can be ignited and used to build upon."
The energy that they used to produce 'Coils' can be tasted and seized when blaring the tracks. Whether one uses it for fuel to run a Marine Corps physical fitness test and keep the puke down after the third mile; long distance driving music for hours at end in your pile of garbage car; your meditation de-stressor while you count sheep before bed time; your muscle relaxant to control yourself from punching your boss; your pre- and post-party juice mixer, 'Coils Of Entropy' will kindle even the smallest burning flame in anyone.
Last in line as the final track on the album, the self-titled song 'Coils Of Entropy' was the first song Nephelium wrote in Canada with several musical elements in mind to incorporate ten years of turmoil.
"Our journey from when we started through all the times we had back home and the relief of finally being here is something that I definitely feel the song depicts," said Ravet. "Emotions of chaos and confusion open the song and take the listener down a road of happiness, rage, sadness, more confusion, culture and tradition."
The thundering double bass by Madhavan has amazing perpetuity, and the traditional Arabian background is sexy in the guitars of James Sawyer and Zubair. This is included again in 'Halls Of Judgment'. The Death Metal vocals tend to be spot on behemoth-deep performed by Devlin Anderson, but lacked strength when entering the high range. The rhythm changes seven minutes in demonstrated clarity and discipline to achieve perfect break silences multiple times.
'Malediction' takes away some of the speed and conjures an image of giants trudging through pits of weak souls. It is slow, massive, and monstrously evil. The tempo change allows the listener to hear every single instrumental additive and characteristic of the musicians and composition.
Another song labeled 'Merciless Annihilation' is the first single for Nephelium with much more signature old school metal hints taken from days past and bands of influence. A little less aesthetically pleasing, the technicality was evident, but was harder to connect with and place in the family with the other songs.
The album as a whole will favor well with the heavy-hearted because the dedication it took to write the riffs and lyrics comes through. Putting the work in to produce a final product that the band was pleased with was parallel to what the target audience would be yearning for.
"We had a clear idea of what we wanted, and since we are very picky and perfectionists, we would not settle for 'just okay', said Ravet. The recording, production and mastering of the album was given to the best people we could find.
"After the album was in the can, we faced some other lineup changes, which led us to once again look for new members, this time making sure that whoever would join the Nephelium ranks will be as committed as the founding members were, and ready to properly promote the album and the band live."
"Also finding the right artist for the cover art, and another one for the logo design was a quest in itself, following the same pattern of 'working with the best'. With Nephelium's current members, we're ready to conquer the world for good."
In the upcoming year, Nephelium plans to start touring in Canada and the United States, and plans to terrorize Europe as well.
To read the rest of Rachael Mattice's interview with Nephelium bassist Florian Ravet, see below. Stay tuned for tour dates at Nephelium's website by clicking here.
What was going on in your lives that made you mutually decide on the symbolic album title 'Coils Of Entropy?'
"Our lives as individuals at the time were a whirlwind of chaos, in different aspects obviously. We all had personal events and/or eras in our lives that were significant to us in conjuring up this title in that everything will have an end but even that end will have energy."
Since this has taken you a decade to bring together (i.e. line up changes, moving, etc.) what life lessons and themes have you incorporated into this album?
"In writing and recording this album and thinking back to all the good times and bad that we went through back home and here, in the wise words of Rob Flynn; "The blood, the sweat, the bee... for real though... the tears!", is what will bring you to realize that hard work pays off. In the lyrical content to the layman, the biggest life lesson is that when you feel that everything is 'done' for the lack of a better word, understand that in that void there is still energy... energy that can be ignited and used to build upon.
What differences in scene, style, and audience do you notice in North America than in other areas of the world?
"There is one major attribute that everything related to Metal has around the world: DEDICATION. It doesn't matter where you are, Metal fans, bands and scene in general are represented by a horde of die hard Metalheads, what varies is the scope.
"As far as specifics to the North American scene, the main difference in scope are that availability of content is greater, support from local promoters and media, combined with a relative bigger Metal crowd makes networking easier. All in all the exposure of the scene in general has a bigger impact, especially compared with the way we used to struggle to get our Metal growing up in Dubai.
"But this can be shaped like a double edged sword : overabundance of content makes it harder for a band to get to the right audience, and Metal fans who have too much to choose from might be missing out on what they really want.
"It's all relative of course, and the scene is always evolving in other parts of the world. Nephelium is eager to tour the world and experience more of the global scene to be able to answer this question with more insight in the near future!"
Where do you find yourselves or what do you seem to be doing when you get an idea for a song/riff/lyric?
"Ideas can pop up anytime, literally, and this is not limited to the jam time where we get together. We could be humming a riff or idea at work and put it down, coming home to either video record it or tab it to send it to our band mates. Same with lyrics or theme ideas: it could happen while driving, in the middle of night and we would connect via email to start brainstorming before the next practice session comes up where we can start piecing it all together.
"Come to think of it, we are spoiled with technology these days; things can be really easy to share ideas together."
For someone whom has never heard or seen you live, what is a signature characteristic of your set style?
"It is very, very tight. We have worked and practiced hard to have a live sound similar to the album, with the added energy and power of stage performance. We're no sissies either when it comes to headbanding (our bass player especially goes totally nuts on stage).
"At least that's what we heard from feedback from our shows, but hey: don't take our word for it and judge for yourself when Nephelium comes to rip the stage in a town near you ;)