The first thing that came to mind when this death metal Colombian necktie of an EP came across my radar is the similarly-titled 2007 King Diamond album, Give Me Your Soul… Please. Like every King release of the past few decades, a disappointing slab that folks bolstered up higher than they should have because we all love King so damn much. With equally doofy cover art that’s charming in spite of the Velveeta, I Will Get Your Soul is the fourth release that Nepente have spewed out since their 2002 inception. While it won’t launch them to the top of the list of the most prolific bands out of South America, it certainly is a much more rewarding listen at 21 minutes than the almost hour long King platter. Listening back to Nepente‘s preexisting discography, their formula hasn’t changed much, though the material on I Will Get Your Soul interjects more melody than previous releases without sacrificing the relentlessness that’s become a trademark of their discography.
That melody is what lends depth to what might otherwise be a one-dimensional garroting of the ear drums. Nepente ago for the throat on these four songs, like a pit bull hopped up on Columbian white. If you can excuse the alliteration, I went into this knowing nigh nothing about Nepente. The opening clean guitar passage of the title track set an eerie tone that was soon blown all to fuck and beyond by one of the most manic riffs my bastardly old cauliflower ears have heard, setting the plate for a meal of metallic savagery that is tasteful and completely unhinged at the same time.
This dichotomy is what makes Nepente so good at what they do. They’re maniacal yet calculated, brutal with moments of beauty. Listening to I Will Get Your Soul is like being sucked up into a tornado that just devoured a Benjamin Moore warehouse; the colors swirl around you amidst the chaos and destruction. As your skin is sheared from your body and the very life sucked out of your lungs, you can’t help but marvel at the vortex of colors that is eating you alive. Listen to “Show Me That You Are Suffering” 25 seconds in. Black metal-ish melody soars over an insane blast beat while vocalist José F. Ospina screeches like he’s from Oslo and not Manizales, then dives down into a death metal groove and guttural grunt as South American as Nervochaos at their most slamming.
The production has enough grime, yet enough clarity that the guitar work is never lost in the maelstrom. Drummer Mauricio Aristizabal should change his name to Juan Henry. He is a beast, flailing at the kit maniacally like a steam hammer, able to switch from a blast beat to a groove on a dime. Check out “Gray Land” a minute and a half in and you will hear a tasteful interplay between guitarists and bassist Willmar Correa. Correa doesn’t just follow the guitars as so many extreme metal bassists do, going off on his own dark path adding another dimension rather than just thickening things up . This track is the most accessible of the bunch, reminding me of Paths of Possession, the often overlooked side project of Cannibal Corpse‘s George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher, though unlike Fisher you can’t understand a word the man says. The solos are less shred and more tasteful than I expected, much to the benefit of the EP overall, though they could be a bit higher in the mix.
Like a tornado, I Will Get Your Soul doesn’t last long but leaves a formidable trail of destruction. It remains to be seen if the next release, assuming it will be a full-length, can maintain this quality found here. By no means is I Will Get Your Soul a genre-defining or barrier-breaking release, but like Peter Luger’s Sizzling Bacon, it’s a satisfying precursor to what it’s safe to assume will be a belly-busting metal meal.