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.
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