We all know concept albums, some better than other. I for one don't know too
many concept bands. The Great Discord, a relatively young
Swedish band founded in 2013, seem to know very well what kind of music they
want to play.
Headed by the powerful singer Fia Kempe, they play a haunting mix of progressive
metal and hard rock. Their very first output Duende is a 48-minute
oeuvre full of cinematic and gripping music. The debut deals with different
situations in life, the ordinary and the extreme ones.
The most conspicuous aspect of this album is Kempe's clean, but soaring vocals
over a monstrous wall of mechanized sounding music played by the band, but in contrast to
what everyone would expect, not a single song on the debut sounds artificial or
forced. On the contrary: Duende is full of emotion, more that I thought
was possible to put into such a technical album.
Talking about Fia Kempe as a vocalist, she's more than capable to spout some
high and low notes: She embodies the different feelings of this album - sorrow
and weakness as well as passion and strength - and she does that with loads
of confidence and skill.
Something equally important as all the aforementioned aspects are the dynamics
on this album. There are constantly changing rhythmic patterns and moods - which is
part of the concept - and this is what makes Duende interesting until
the end and the reason why you'll find yourself listening to it on repeat.
Discord's Duende radiates all kinds of different feelings I didn't even know I
could actually feel. I assume that this is part of the journey - so, too, is our
unpredictable journey on earth. And with that in mind, The Great Discord
captured life itself like no other band.
My intuition says that Duende marks the beginning of something soaring and
haunting, yet beautiful and special to come in the next few years. For everyone
who's searching for exciting, futuristic music: This is an album you must check
out. Actually, regardless of your music preferences, just go and listen to this
album as soon as it's out. You won't be disappointed.