It’s difficult to classify a band like The Great Discord, or their first album, “Duende”, which seems to at times evoke the epic technicality of Nightwish, other times sounding more akin to the haunting tones of Katatonia.
This makes “Duende” a pretty unique mix of fantastical lyrics, heavy driving double pedal beats, hardcore riffs, and light piano interludes that make it an album of mystical wonder.
From the get-go, The Great Discord is here to show you that “Duende” is meant to set them a part from other bands out there. The first track, ‘The Aging Man’, begins with a somber piano sound reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails’ “Still”, then builds, and builds, and builds. Adding more and more sound before going quiet for several seconds, and then exploding in force with everything The Great Discord has.
This continues on the third track ‘Eigengrau’, which features numerous double pedal rhythms laying the groundwork for energetic and fast-paced riffs, all providing a pleasing-if-discordant accompaniment to the beautiful vocals. Which is likely what a band like The Great Discord is going for. Similar to the “beauty and the beast” sounds of Lacuna Coil, The Great Discord creates an alternating sound of heavy metal with lyrical, even soft, piano interludes evoking a sound of light-versus-dark, beauty-versus-ugliness, soft-versus-hard.
This is most evident on the seventh track of the album, ‘Woes’, which is probably my favorite. A soft-yet-hard mix of haunting, almost carnivale-like vocals and heavy rhythms, and all so fantastical. It makes me feel like I’m wandering through a forest of magic, complete with fairies and sprites, but also ghouls and monsters.
All in all, “Duende” is a hell of a debut album for The Great Discord, and I can’t wait to see what they come out with next!