Watch The Great Discord Cover Bjork’s “Army Of Me”, New EP Due In 2019

Progressive metal band The Great Discord have surprise released a new single and video for their cover of 1990s Bjork classic ‘Army Of Me’, which you can watch below. The track is the first taste of a new EP coming from the band next March via The Sign Records. Continue reading

Progressive Rock Albums 101 by The Great Discord

Genesis Selling England By The Pound Album cover

Duende, the Metal Blade début from progressive metallers The Great Discord was released this week. As much as the album is a tight and technical metal album, the music has a spirit that is steeped in the history of prog rock. We asked singer Fia Kempe and drummer Aksel Holmgren what was their singular favorite albums in classic prog history. After hearing the bands’ music their answers make perfect sense:

Fia: “I was thinking about this the other day, because we have gotten this question before and you always… always when you get the question you think “Fuck! What am I going to answer?” (laughs) Because there are too many great progressive records out there. If I had to say one album I would say Selling England By The Pound by Genesis, it’s just an amazing progressive rock album which stuck. That opened a whole new world for me. Actually it opened my entire musical world, I guess. I come from a very musical family. I have grown up with these kind of old prog rock bands like Genesis, and Gentle Giant, King Crimson and Jethro Tull. So Selling England By The Pound is an album that really means a lot to me, and also one album that I have so many emotional connections to and definitely inspired me as to why we make the music we make today. So thanks Genesis for that!”

 

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Aksel: “I think it’s probably going to be King Crimson: In The Court Of The Crimson King. I think that album is the one that opened up my eyes to the playfulness of the genre. I heard it the first time when I wasn’t even 10 years old. My dad had it on vinyl and I was listening to it in the background. And I heard it and I asked him “Dad what’s this weird music? And my father said “Oh this is King Crimson. It’s 70s music, you wouldn’t understand.” (laughs) Something like that basically. I was like “Holy shit, I have to listen back to this!” And especially In the Court of the Crimson King and I Talk to the Wind, they just blew my mind! The melodic passages and the way they construct songs, it becomes much more of a story way more than just a 3 minute song. It always you to go on a musical adventure that is so much more intricate than just radio music. That has always been one of the main catch points for me. If its progressive and that type of progressive music, it’s usually something that catches my attention for such a long period of time. It drags me on a long, almost spiritual journey. That’s something that no other musical genre can do for me; to capture my attention, except for Jazz in some ways. Progressive music, it would have to be King Crimson. I love them! It’s ridiculous! (laughs)”

Introducing… The Great Discord

the great discord duende

 

Swedish progressive metallers The Great Discord are one of Metal Blade’s best signings of late. Their album Duende is out today, combining the artfulness and intelligence of classic 70s prog rock with the heaviness and skill of Meshuggah or Dream Theater. In chatting with singer Fia Kempe and drummer Aksel Holmgren, we learned that they are cognizant that even in these times of broad musical palates, their band does not fit into such a neat box, since they joined the roster at at Metal Blade.

Sofie: “We weren’t sure at first! (laughs) It all started when we had some demos and we sent them around, and among other labels, to Metal Blade. Kelli (Malella) was the first one to become intrigued with us. We started talking in an email conversation, where she wanted to learn what our aims were for this band, how we wanted to be represented, and what we wanted for the record. She got really interested in us and fought for us. And we were really surprised that when we got the mail that they wanted us to be signed there. It was a great experience! We thank Kelli so much!”

Aksel: “Metal Blade is traditionally well respected and they have done so much for metal. They are so legendary as an established name for the metal scene. And our sound, at least a big chuck of it, is metal. And it seems the label have signed more progressive bands like Between the Buried and Me and Native Construct, which gave us the hint that this label that wants to invest in this type of music. We have nothing but great things to say about them.”

Fia: “It was also a bit of a challenge for us too. We can tell straight away now… releasing a few of our teasers how polarizing a band like ours can be. If you are a true Metal Blade fan, and you are into Cannibal Corpse and Goatwhore, I can really understand how you would be at least surprised (laughs) when you hear our kind of music and how differs a lot from a Cannibal Corpse, for example. We also think its a good effect, because it gets people talking. It gets people to turn their heads, which is always a good thing in this business. We welcome all reactions, that is the discordance in life. It’s been a blast to read all the comments (laughs)!”

The Great Discord, image by Pellen Prodcutions

The Great Discord, image by Pellen Prodcutions

As much as the band is sonically impressive, one thing sets them apart is the existential themes in their lyrics throughout the album. We wanted to know what role these heady ideas played in the context behind the story of Duende.

Fia: “When we look back at it now, we think of the album as ten short stories: ten examinations of the human condition. I am a Social Psychiatrist professionally, so I have always had a great interest in psychology; and meeting people daily who are in a great amount of pain and suffering, dealing with depression; going so far as Autistic, bi-polar, or even schizophrenia. It’s always been an interesting subject for me; the psyche of the human mind. All people around the world suffer from a morbid fascination of these kinds of conditions, so we wanted to explore a little further how the music makes you feel, and then how you can get the music to match these emotions. So the music always came first and then we tried to match the lyrics to these kind of emotions and psychiatric conditions.”

It can be things people feel every day in their lives like the sorrow, sadness, pain, power, joy; to the more extremes: the cannibal, the necrophiliac, the massive paranoid schizophrenic killer. And we know those are not the most common states of mind of people in general, but they do exist. They are there and we know it, whether we want to think about it or not. But there are all of the scary, almost unknown conditions. Even if you don’t want to admit it.”

 

Aksel: “This aspect is well represented on album in a more general sense too. In contrast just more general philosophical concerns of why are we here? What is the meaning in life? What do I do if I have regrets when I die? How do I deal knowing that I am a living, breathing, thinking, feeling human being. This is the theme essentially behind The Great Discord.”

 

KEITH CHACHKES

The Great Discord – Duende

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To find any release in this day and age that shows any degree of being unique is a rarity; a prime example being the array of bands that are ushered into the Prog umbrella despite such close resemblances to their peers. So the fact that upcomers The Great Discord have created something that sounds fresh and cutting edge, and on their début release is quite astonishing.

Taken from a term loosely meaning a heightened state of expression or emotion, Duende (Metal Blade) sets the mind-boggling right from the start. First song ‘The Aging Man’ creeps into life with an atmospheric passage with a haunting chant like vocal in the background, seemingly setting up for something near melodic and progressive black metal territory before it spins into an entirely new direction more akin to a Meshuggah influence. Just as things begin to feel like they are settling they take a dynamic shift once again, altering between such staccato riffing, to more morose, drifting melodies through to the grandiose. Strikingly these mismatched styles never appear disjointed or thrown together.

The perfect complement to this sheer diversity is Fia Kempe’s chameleon like vocals. For the most part delicate and even seductive; her execution moulds perfectly to each and every pace and style; even encompassing harsh vocals on the heavier ‘Selfaeta’ and even a mournful tone on the ballad ‘Woes’, reminiscent of the likes of Tarja or Liv Kristine.

For a début album to show some signs of true forward thinking on any level is impressive enough, but for The Great Discord to show such high levels of progressive movement in their range of styles, their execution and even to their mystique and cinematic vision shows that they are a band to look at for the future. At times it is easy to pinpoint influences to some degree, but very few acts can display such a wide range and make it sound both their own and all flowing.

 

8.0/10

The Great Discord on Facebook

 

CHRIS TIPPELL

Video + Audio: The Great Discord – Album Teaser + The Aging Man + L’homme Mauvais

the great discord

Swedish metallers The Great Discord is streaming the fourth video teaser for their new album Duende, out available worldwide on Metal Blade Records on June 2nd in North America, June 1st in the UK / Europe, and May 29th in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

Watch the first three trailer parts below.

Watch the music video for “The Aging Man,” directed by Philip Kullgren and edited by Joakim Sjöholm, both from Pellen Productions.

Stream “L’homme Mauvais” here.

THE GREAT DISCORD is:
Fia Kempe – vocals
Aksel Holmgren – drums
André Axell – guitars
Gustav Almberg – guitars
Rasmus Carlson – bass

The Great Discord on Twitter
The Great Discord on Instagram

Video Teaser: The Great Discord – Amour Propre (Angra Mainyu)

the great discord duende

Swedish metallers The Great Discord is streaming the fourth video teaser “Amour Propre (Angra Mainyu).” Their new album Duende will be out on June 2nd in North America, June 1st in the UK / Europe, and May 29th in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland via Metal Blade Records.

THE GREAT DISCORD is:
Fia Kempe – vocals
Aksel Holmgren – drums
André Axell – guitars
Gustav Almberg – guitars
Rasmus Carlson – bass

The Great Discord on Twitter
The Great Discord on Instagram