Album Review : The Great Discord – Duende
29th May 2015, 14:00
Posted by Tristan

Though not much may be known about the elusive band, let us take you through the disconcerting progressive journey that is Duende.


1. The Aging Man

2. Deus Ex Homine

3. Eigengrau

4. L’Homme Mauvais

5. Salfaeta

6. A Discordant Call

7. Woes

8. Angra Mainyu

9. Illuminate

10. Ephemeral

Length: 47 : 00
Label: Metal Blade
Release date: 01/06/2015


Every so often there comes a time when people are entirely sidelined by an album. With not much build up to their first release with new record label Metal Blade, The Great Discord are still relatively new blood for the likes of metal heads. Pigeonholing them would be to deny their fierce creativity. Releasing their brand new album Duende this is music but not as you know it.

Kicking things off with single “The Aging Man” the melodramatic introduction of a thunder storm and a slowing heartbeat sets the atmosphere up. Steadily creeping in until our female vocalist Fia bursts out of the speakers with a true sense of energy. Whilst backed up by the wall of guitars behind her becomes truly empowering. Though just as the energy may be intense so it is refined. Ebbing and flowing “Deus Ex Homine” finishes with a quiet clean bridge, reminiscent of classic post rock acts. Where The Great Discord are able to be unique, lies in their understanding of the post rock stylings that tail off the song, slightly reminiscent of iamthemorning.

Suddenly pulled but into the throng with “Eigengrau” the guitars gear up again for another wave of attack. Though I must say that personally I am not a huge fan of the female vocals approach, such is diversity of our singer creating the same off kilter beat of the modern day only with her voice. Be it either the stop start rhythmic sections or momentary out of key singing, often makes for beautiful vocal line yo turned slightly on its head. Echoing the sense of beauty yet an underlying sense of eerie unease. I only harp on about the vocals because it is such a drastic change from the usual scream / clean singing. Giving the sound a very much ethereal quality. Though our Fia can switch from Norah Jones to Devin Townsend style in but the flick of an eye “L’Homme Mauvais” gives an interplay between the rhythmic pulse of the guitar and drums along with slower more drawn out delivery of the vocals.

My gripe with the album is the guitar tone! Though having listened to the record more and more, it is becoming more of a niggle. To me it just sounds too much like the Bethesda boys, however “Angra Mainyu” ensures that no one will actually be making this mistake again crafting that slightly deceptive vocal approach you instantly forget about things like tone. Nevertheless when the band do want to go for all out heaviness tracks like “Selfaete” are given enough space to breathe, including an introduction that would not sond out of place in Cradle Of Filth’s back catalogue. Once the song begins to awaken from its somber slumber, the energy felt is fantastic. Coupled with the guest vocal appearance from who I can only think is Ne Obliviscaris singer makes for it to be one of the heaviest on the album.

Other facets of The Great Discord are showcased in the triumphant “Illuminate” where Florence and the metal Machine return once more this time creating a straightforward radio style song which mid way through goes full Prog with keyboard solo, which when put against the dream stasis waltz of “Woes” seems like a lifetime ago. For a band to craft an album with this much depth far into their career is applaudable however as a debut, it is exceptional.

I’m not going to beat around the bush. I don’t usually like female vocals in metal, yet when pulled off with such panache as The Great Discord does it only enhances the musical contour of her boys, which do a stellar job I might add. Be aware this is not progressive in the sense that the band are aiming to become the next Dream Theater. The Great Discord are just being themselves, cherry picking elements from genres and throwing them all together making for an incredibly engaging listen. More so than any DT copycat. Creating solid riffing when needed and the more post rock echoing when it’s time to tuck the listener in. Make no mistake Duende is most certainly a curveball, mysterious, progressive at times atonal but with name like The Great Discord, you wouldn’t expect anything else.

Bursting from the shadows of the unknown The Great Discord have released an excellent debut album. Full of musical twists and turns Duende is a brilliant example of a band not needing to be copy cat but thriving on their own creativity.

If you like what you read / heard then you can pick up the band’s brand new album Duende here!