Sophistry – noun – the use of clever but false arguments, especially to deceive.
There is no deceiving with Edmonton, Canada’s SOPHIST, however, the trio of Michael K. Sparks (bass/guitar), Davis R. Hay (programming/vocals), Helge Lipphardt (guitar) are straightforward in their approach to grinding black metal.
Conjured in June of 2019 by Hay and Sparks, SOPHIST dove straight into recording their debut EP “Betrothal To The Stone: Conception of Mephisto”. Immediately after release, they started production on a follow-up record and recruited Lipphardt for additional guitars and writing input.
The trio keeps the writing process simple, with Hay defining the drums, synths, and song structure followed by Lipphardt and Sparks’ overlay of bass and guitar. It is then blended with vocals and a nod to 80s & 90s production. Hay's pessimistic lyrics first focussed on occult themes & alchemical allegory, & more recently on working-class politics. SOPHIST transmutes these elements into blisteringly fast & flavorful "black grind".
In November 2019 they signed with Niflhel Records to release their first full-length album, “Dissolution”, which was released on February 7th, 2020 on CD, LP, and all digital platforms. A follow-up album, "Putrid Faction", was released on December 1st, 2020, which saw more death metal in the sound. A single called “Metabolic Chasm…” was released in 2021 with Tsunami Nagasaki (Beaver Fever) on bass and guitar as a guest and Hay on vocals and additional guitar.
Now SOPHIST is preparing to release a new EP, “Avenger… Liberator…” on April 28, 2023.