Album: Words in Ruin
Release Date: March 5th, 2016
Record Label: Road Mark Productions
Words in Ruin, the third disc of Dyscordia is on my desk now. For those who have never heard of the band before, the Belgian power-prog metalheads fall more into the northern Europe side of things in terms of sound and composition, Sonata Arctica being the reference name here. Seeing the cover of My Land from Sonata Arctica tells it as well.
Before the appraisal, the issues of the album: Now, like many other bands out there, Dyscordia has one problem from my perspective and it is this: growls. Growling is all good and great but as I have said many times in my reviews; it is not a melodic expression in the sense of clean singing and therefore, having something distinct and unique is much harder to achieve. If it is not great, why persist on using it? The clean vocals through the album are great. They are soothing, aggressive at places and filled with pleasing melodies. The issue with the growls, however, shows itself immediately with the track Bail Me Out. The chorus and the verses are great, reminding me some of the vocal melodies of Tad Morose at places but then the growls kick in and they pull everything down and turn things into a rather bland expression. Growling, pretty much with everything else, is already an overused style by power-progressive bands in search of creating something new, something fresh. There were bands like Skyfire back in the day with similar musical approach and full extreme vocals. Those were fresh at the time but I am talking about the early 2000’s. Of course, there are exceptions to this such as the performance of growling that shines when compared on the track A Perfect Day. Safe to say then that, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. The clean vocals fit much better in their music in my humble opinion.
The overall sound of the album is solid good and the production quality is pleasing to the ears. No surprise there after seeing the name of Jens Bogren and Tony Lindgren from Fascination Street Studios, arguably the rising star of metal productions. In the last two years, almost all the albums I liked had their touch in either the mix or the mastering of those works. Amorphis, Symphony X, Orphaned Land, Myrath… you name it. Jens Bogren was on my radar way before those releases anyway. Check his discography ;).
If you are looking for quality progressive-power metal filled both with classic hooks alongside original ideas mashed up in quality, Dyscordia’s new disc, Words in Ruin is a nice treat. If it wasn’t for the growl performance, it would easily be one of the year’s best power metal releases and still could be considered as such except for that small “glitch”.
You will hear Pain of Salvation, Sonata Arctica, Masterplan, Helloween, Rhapsody and Opeth even. A masterfully crafted blend. I am positively surprised. Harlequin’s Grief and Words of Fortune are the tracks to check to weigh the general feeling of the album.
Piet Overstijns – Vocals
Stefan Segers – Vocals & Guitars
Martijn Debonnet – Guitars & Backings
Guy Commeene – Lead guitars
Wouter Nottebaert – Bass & Backings
Wouter Debonnet – Drums