Alex Zubair, along with drummer Alan Madhavan, planted the seeds of Nephelium in Arabian soil back in the 90s. They became Dubai’s heaviest extreme metal band, but Alex had to return to Toronto, Canada. He convinced his skin-crushing partner to follow him to North America, and there they rebuilt the beast only to see it slain once again by line-up changes. Third time lucky, the guys once again sought out and this time found three other musicians as serious and committed as they are. Enter bassist Flo Ravet, guitarist James Sawyer, and growlist Devlin Anderson.
With the roots of Nephelium‘s old school death metal taking hold, and the modern influences entwining the band’s pummeling and caustic sound, the quintet decides it was time to release the its full length debut onslaught. Coils of Entropy was unleashed on fans this week, and the album’s been received with astoundingly positive reviews. What Nephelium offers is death metal with an array of extreme metal touches, and an undercurrent of classic thrash metal. The band seeks to remain true to the standards of acts like Death, Testament, Carcass, Cannibal Corpse, Obituary, and Napalm Death, while putting its own signature dynamic into the mix. The result is a stunning debut of the most punishing kind.
If you’re looking for blazing guitars and breakneck speed with no groove or emotion though, pass on by. For Alex and Nephelium, it’s all about the groove and feel. Don’t misunderstand, there’s plenty of speed and technical prowess on hand, but there’s plenty of grind and sludge to glue it all together.
Now, 15 years and two continents after it all started Nephelium is ready to decimate the death metal scene on a global scale. We caught up with Alex this week to talk about the band’s 40-minute, six-track debut, Coils of Entropy. We spoke about the history of the band and the challenges endured along the way. Alex shared his thoughts on what is wrong with the death metal scene these days, as well as his list of essential death metal albums.