Since its origins in the 80s, thrash has undergone quite the revitalization, melding with other metal sub-genres to become a beast quite unlike the one in its heyday. That said, the sheer number of bands attempting to emulate successes has also watered the scene down, creating uninspiring carbon copy acts. It’s remarkable, then, that a young band from Pennsylvania named Dissentience can make the genre sound fresh in 2018, with a style that already screams ‘signature’ on their début EP.
From the opening moments of “Maniac”, Dissentience make their statement clear – to twist thrash’s hungry intensity in a progressive direction. Selecting flavors from black and death metal, each moment feels hand-crafted for maximum impact and memorability. There is also a melodic thread that runs through proceedings, carried ably by Jimmy Vitale and Connor Valentin’s guitar work, while the latter screams his throat hoarse about societal woes and moral quandaries – in some ways recalling the great Chuck Schuldiner. While the band’s influences are detectable, it’s more akin to carrying the torch further than running behind in their shadows.
2. Chasing Existence
3. Tombstone Currency
5. Synapse Corruption
As the EP unfolds, each member’s talents is brought to the fore – whether the relentless drumming of Nick Scherden on “Disinter” or Sean Langer’s furious bass lines on “Synapse Corruption” that underpin the frantic yet empowering riffs and solos. Every one of the five songs has something to write home about, and by the time Mask of Pretense comes to a close, the 22 minutes feel like an eye-blink. It’s rare that a band lands fully formed and meaning business, but Dissentience are that rare case.
Guitar/Vocals – Connor Valentin
Guitar – Jimmy Vitale
Bass – Sean Langer
Drums – Nick Scherden