Reaching beyond the limits of traditional metal has been popular since quite some time and there are a couple of great examples that prove how fresh metal can sound if you dare to try to spice it up. In the last two years, for that matter, a whole bunch of non-metal stuff has been offered – The Agonist put a bluesy hard rock epic at the end of their latest record, Ne Obliviscaris sometimes sound more like jazz rather than metal and I got asked why I’m listening to disco while doing the dishes just to reveal that I was blasting some Amaranthe to wake myself up. And I won’t lie – I truly love this diversity.
Sweden’s The Great Discord is one of those bands that aren’t afraid to experiment. Headed by the gifted vocalist Fia Kempe, the newcomers play a very special and thrilling kind of progressive rock and metal full of emotion and momentum. The debut album Duende feels very much like a journey – it’s cinematic, dynamic, dark and beautiful and the same time.
Only scare four months after the release of their first full-length, The Great Discord are back with a digital EP called Echoes, which contains an acoustic version of the single “The Aging Man”, two new tracks and two radio edits of the songs “The Aging Man” and “Ephemeral” off Duende.
Maybe this EP’s purpose is to bridge the time between major releases or tour announcements, but either way, the new material offered on this record is, as expected, beautiful. “The Aging Man” is such a diverse song and can sound so different when performed acoustic. “Inertiatic ESP” is a kick-ass, powerful and soaring track, while “Cherry Waves” sounds slightly softer and dreamy.
As much as I love the acoustic version of “The Aging Man”, which, slowed down and much softer compared to the original, is a stellar track, and the two new songs “Inertiatic ESP” and “Cherry Waves”, I guess that they could have been released as bonus tracks for Duende, too. Stylewise, the new songs aren’t any different than the material on the debut anyway.
But now, I’ll better stop acting like a wet blanket, because this band really doesn’t deserve that. If you love what The Great Discord put out so far, you are safe with Echoes, too, and you’ll love the new tracks. If you aren’t aware of this band, but like prog, go and listen to their stuff and thank me later.
01. The Aging Man (Acoustic Version)
02. Inertiatic ESP
03. Cherry Waves
04. The Aging Man (Radio Edit)
05. Ephemeral (Radio Edit)
Playing time: 22:17
Release date: 18 September, 2015
Label: Metal Blade Records
Website: The Great Discord @ Facebook