Suffering Is The Seed
Review by Chris Pratl on December 3, 2018.
Columbia's Nepente creates a black/death brand of musical sadism that is fast and tumultuous, but the question begs, does Suffering is the Seed manage to offer up a solid effort in the face of so many similar bands' underwhelming efforts? The answer is a stern...somewhat.
The music here is speedy, crunching, malevolent, and any other darkened adjective you wish to assign to it. While my first impression was to dismiss it on the basis of over-polish and too much of the same old song and dance, I'd be wholly remiss to be so judgmental in the face of momentary brutality. Yes, the music here is nothing new, and yes, you've heard it done even better than Nepente might produce, but the tracks on Suffering is the Seed are, honestly, disturbingly good. I'm not exactly sure what drew me to the sound, as I've heard similar bands a million times over, but the songs are just interesting and enjoyable from these guys. There is nothing in the way of stark variation, so I'll do my best to keep it simple for the sake of personal enjoyment.
The dynamic here is black metal ala the Norwegian forerunners, right down to the screechy vocals that make Ihsahn sound contrived in spots. I will admit the switching from speed to melodic riffing is a definitive point of interest and keeps the music from stagnating too much. I can also hear some Deicide elements in the arrangements (“Merciful Death”), but please don't go in expecting such polished perfection ala Legion. What makes Nepente enjoyable is the basic formulaic sound that has been making the rounds for too may years now, and sometimes it works and mostly it doesn't; for now, on this record, it works out well for this jaded old man.
The small point of contention I hold is the production being so crisp and so polished that the overall din that should surround this music is left a bit blanketed in the mire of a larger sound that should simmer a bit lower in its own swill. I'm not picking on the band for its want of stellar sound by any means, but some things are left best with a bit of intangible aura looming overhead. Hey, if that's the worst thing I can offer about the record as a whole, then it's small potatoes.
As I said, nothing new is to be found here by any means, but if you enjoy the occasional jaunt backwards to tap into your hidden recesses of evil and blackened death metal, give this album a few spins, as it's quite far from wasted time.
Rating: 6.5 out of 10
(Originally written for www.metalpsalter.com)