Nepente: Suffering Is The Seed

The best word for Suffering Is The Seed, the new album from Columbian extreme metallers Nepente, is vicious. In fact it is a savage and sonically scurrilous violation, a torment of corrosive intensity and unbridled devastation. It is also a thoroughly rewarding if painful confrontation continuing the uncompromising power of South American extreme metal with strength and accomplishment.

The album is the fourth release from a band which was founded in 2002 and been on a constant rise ever since. Their early years saw the band becoming an acclaimed force in the Columbian underground metal scene, their deathly onslaughts catching the imagination of fans and Columbian metal radio. From appearances on two compilation CDs in the US, the quintet of José Fernando Ospina (Vocals), Mauricio Aristizábal (Drums), Wilmar Correa (Bass), Esteban Daza (Guitar) and Juan Pablo Buitrago (Guitar) replaced by Pablo Vasquez in 2010, a wider awareness grew as the band were played on radio shows around the world and shared stages with the likes of Ancient and Rotting Christ. 2008 saw the album Atonements released through Metalbolic Records to a strong response and which marked the start of a rising stature for the band outside of their homeland. With the unleashing of Suffering is the Seed, their best release to date, Nepente should find with its overwhelming might and startling craft, a greater step forth into recognition from fans worldwide.

As soon as the title track to start off the release begins scarring the ear, the senses are searching for safety, the corrosive sonic acid pouring disguised as riffs unbridled intimidation. There is a compulsive groove spearing them which alleviates some of the spite, well until the track explodes into a storm of blistering malevolence and flesh stripping sonic terrorism. The guitars scythe down synapses with venom dripping from every note and riffs whilst the rhythms shatter the bones within the ear for a nasty crippling engagement. The track continues to interchange the initial slower prowl and ferocious annihilation before the track has run its course of violence, to leave one breathless and fully satisfied.

The following Hell Is The Name Of This Land and Merciful Death offer no respite to the destruction, though both thrust arguably greater enterprise into their consuming rage of sound and energy. The first of the pair again switches between a torrent of sonic abuse brought with craft and skilled invention and contagious grooved imagination, the blistering heavy metal melodic lining an enthralling respite within the constantly raging vehemence. The second charges at the ear with a slightly less vitriolic hate yet still bruises and scorches far more than most other bands can imagine. It is not an easy to stand before the angry tempest of track and album but fully gratifying.

The only criticism one can place on the album is that the surface similarity and structure to songs does make for a bleeding together of tracks at times, though each confrontation is marked by their quality if bravery to enter deeper is given. Tracks such as the more serpentine Hear Me Howl, the ravenous Slaves Will Always Be Slaves with its greedy gnawing riffing, and the caustic furnace of Die For Me, squall and abuse with a less than distinct presence between each other, though that dive to deeper depths of each track does deliver enough diversity to draw only acclaim.

The album closes with two black hearted scourges in the intensity tsunamis of This Shroud Is Yours and The Swamp, both tracks storms of enveloping ruinous fires. Probably the most adventurous of all the tracks, the pair are a potent mass of primal and thrilling invention, to complete an impressive and powerful album. It is not an easy listen as mentioned and possibly could be too harsh for many but deserves time with all extreme metal fans to state its case.

RingMaster 22/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright


Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate: Faya

    Faya is the enthralling album borne from a meeting of two distinctly different yet equally imaginative musicians, a pair of artists despite a language barrier who found a creative and organic understanding. Their inspired collaboration has brought forth a release which captivates and lights up the air, quite simply a vibrant and refreshing breath to uplift any heart.

Joe Driscoll first met Sekou Kouyate in the port city of Marseilles, the two men pairing up to collaborate at the French festival ‘Nuit Metis’ (Nights of Mixed Race) and though neither spoke the other’s language, the hurdle was easily overwhelmed through their music. New Yorker Driscoll has already drawn great acclaim for his stylish blending of rap, folk, and blues into unique results, whilst Guinea artist Kouyate, a member of the world renowned band Ba Cissoko, has been declared the ‘Jimi Hendrix of kora’ in France for his mesmeric skill of the West Africa 21-string bridge-harp.   After just a week of jamming together, a bond, musically and personally, developed which led to the creation of Faya, a collection of songs which unites warm winds of afrobeat, hip-hop, folk, reggae and more into an invigorating and energising delight.

Released through Localization Records, the album immediately has a hold through Tanama and its quickly engaging rhythms and sizzling guitar teases. The track then emerges as a fluid almost improv like piece of adventure with Driscoll leaving steamy guitar spicery across the skies of the track whilst Kouyate provides warm caresses with his instinctive enterprise. The track is the canvas for the skills of both men to play with ease and with their openly different styles and approaches complimenting and countering each other, it is a magnetic encounter.

The following Passport lifts already satisfied emotions higher with its impacting and heated elegance. Dealing with immigration and border control issues, the song approaches its theme head on whilst offering a summer stroll of sounds which put you in the holiday mood. It is a clever placing of contrasts which like the music just envelopes and thrills the ear. The vocals are the same, both men offering unique vocals for a delicious combination and utilising French and English like duelling yet firmly aligned companions.

As the album progresses the sensational treats and pleasures continue; the title track with its blues seeping breath is a majestic fusion of expansive styles and stirring textures, the best track on the album, whilst Lady is a sultry jazz funk lined party with a swagger as irresistible as the kora and expressive vocals. Both are wholly contagious and alone make the album an essential investigation for anyone with adventure in their musical hearts.

The album is glorious from start to finish with songs like the poverty and inequality dealing Ghetto Many, the gently stomping Wonamati, and the closing Zion, with its reggae coaxing and energising passion, just some of the other impressive and imaginative wonder.

Faya is an exceptional album, fuses multiple genres and styles as if they were meant to be together. Harmonies, melodies, and invention fuel a release which leaves one basking in a sunset of pleasure by its end. One can only hope the album is just the first of many to come from the sparking union of Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate.

RingMaster 22/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright