Sociasylum – Harmony of Discordance EP


Estonian unit, Sociasylum, started out as a powerviolence trio in 2011 but have come a long way since their 2014 debut EP. Now a quartet with 2018’s Crossroads LP under their belts, they approach their latest record with a new vocalist and a new sound. You can hear their hardcore roots, but their extreme metal influences are more prominent on Harmony of Discordance.

Sociasylum are not for the fainthearted. The three songs on this EP sound like the last few minutes of human life leading up to a world apocalypse event. Screeching feedback gives way to a seething hardcore riff in opener, ‘Inertia’, as if the aim is to liquidise limbs and obliterate ear drums. Only drummer, Henri Mäll, shows a modicum of patience in the way he dances around the simple chord changes before finding a d-beat pattern. On top of this, new vocalist, Mihail Makoshin, froths his words with blood-dripping fangs. Guitar chords ring out like fan belts ripped from the walls. Your body will need time to adjust to the classic Napalm Death frenzy of blast beats at the two-minute mark. If you like it dangerous, you’re in the right place.

Though similar in aesthetic and aggression, ‘Hands of Desire/Where the Serpents Dream’ is more like a black metal take on post-punk. They don’t bother editing the ugly parts from the final version. Here, the bass and guitars plug in and find their frequency before the first tritone emerges. Do you want to experience the fear of death? Sociasylum can make it happen for you. Evil black metal guitars and d-beats enliven the hardcore and extreme metal elements without committing to either. Listen to the gang vocals leading up to the death-doom slowdown at 02:30 – can you feel your fingers trembling? The last minute of this song is white noise layered with apocalyptic whispering and turbulent engine sounds.

Guitar intervals resonate like irksome sirens designed to wake you from your blissful existence in closing track, ‘Vanity’. Every screamed word feels like it could be the last. Imagine Converge as a black metal band and let the rage consume you. Yes, it’s nasty stuff, but it spurs you to action. Look at the influence Discharge had on Celtic Frost and Napalm DeathHarmony of Discordance is a continuation of that in the 2020s.

Let’s hope the band’s line-up solidifies after this release. It would be a shame not to follow it with an album. 

JVB


Verdict


Release Date: 05/03/2024

Record Label: Self-released

Standout track: Inertia

Suggested Further Listening: Erdve – Savigaila (2021), Gravehuffer – …Depart from So Much Evil (2023), Thetan – Grand Ole Agony (2023)