Riding upon the crest of acclaim and a quickly gathering a strong following in their homeland as they surged to the fore within Norway’s hardcore scene, Social Suicide with their debut album “Broken Pilgrims“ look like finding the same reaction just as quickly beyond those borders in Europe and further afield.
The foursome from Bergen grab your attention with their impressive hardcore/punk creations, which on the surface are a cacophony of noise and aggression but underneath with closer inspection are songs consisting of a superior maelstrom of ideas which veer off the main route of the song wonderfully. Surprising and innovative detours are taken but always returning to drive the music upon strident riffs and absorbing hooks straight to its destination.
The members Esteban, Bjarte, Sondre and Remi spin webs of sound that take the band away from the regular hardcore noise but without losing the power or energy of the genre. Vocally Sondre Haug’s delivery is good straight screamo/hardcore but the addition of great group punk vocals as in ‘Fallen Angels’ and the brilliant title track ‘Broken Pilgrims’ lift them away and apart from other hardcore bands. The latter of the two tracks is my favourite with its great amalgam of noise, melodies and pure punk energy and feel. When Social Suicide slip into the punkier side of their sound it works even better for me but all they have produced on the album is of a satisfying strong level.
The album opens with a noise attack of feedback and distortion intro on ‘Mail From The Watchtower’ and ends the same way on final track ‘The Last Martyrs’, it’s outro abruptly ending as the release is bookended by intrusive but agreeable blasts marking what is to come and been. ‘Death Of The New Kings’ and the delicious metal riff groove of ‘Harlots And Prophets’ are sandwiched between the opener and the title track continuing and pushing forward the bands inspiring sound.
There has been a great buzz surrounding Social Suicide’s single from the album ‘5th Man On A Dead Man’s Grave’, with its video receiving in excess of 22,000 hits on YouTube and listening it is no surprise, though for me it is not the strongest track on show, in fact many others are better but it is a good lead in for people to check out ‘Broken Pilgrims’.
The only slight negative for the album, and it is slight, means returning back to the vocals. As I mentioned they are very strong, but on some tracks such as ‘Enemy Cave’ and ‘Rodeo III’, they overshadow the music’s ingenuity and it is only after several replays with the intent on listening solely to the music are these apparent and knowing the attention span of many listeners it may be that the band’s skills are missed but this is just a minor problem as most tracks display everything perfectly.
Social Suicide are a fresh wind in the hardcore scene bringing a young energy coupled with new intriguing ideas and ‘Broken Pilgrims’ their first statement and maybe the first step in redirecting a genre as others take notice of what it holds. This is for people who like bands like Asking Alexandria or Refused blending both and bringing much, much more to enjoy.
‘Broken Pilgrims’ is released on Redfield Records on April 25th and throughout April Social Suicide will be on tour in the UK with Comeback Kid, The Ghost Inside and fellow Norwegians Kvelertak, for dates check out the Social Suicide MySpace page.