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Discordia - Utopia Perfection CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.46 | 29 ratings

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3 stars Discordia is a Finnish sextet that have made just this sole album (plus a couple of EP's). Sadly so, because they show a lot of potential as possible masters of energetic, U.S. style eclectic prog. The powerful playing is firmly on the shoulders of the basic combo (g, keyb, b, dr) and is further coloured by slight additions of violin, bass clarinet and tin whistle. An essential feature are the often multi- layered vocals sung by both sexes.

In the Finnish prog history, I would see the 90's hard-rocking group FIVE FIFTEEN - not in the Archives - as an encouraging influence perhaps, as well as several, mainly American modern prog bands that have continued in the eclectic path that GENTLE GIANT once started. Although the vocal harmonies are very effective at their best and there's a lot of playful wittiness, there isn't really a direct GG influence, I guess; no extraordinary stylistic width from old music to jazz etc. In fact, during the album, especially on the latter half, I get a bit tired of the almost hyperactive art rock energy.

The first half is quite impressive. Very eclectic 'Foreseen' opens the album powerfully - with a nice fantasy element in the lyrics: "And none but the fairies and unicorns will last / faunes and dryads, / hippogryohs and gryphons, / wandering free". 'Mystery Man' rocks harder and offers great guitar sounds. I don't know what is the kantele-reminding isntrument in 'Speak Directly', but it sounds good. 'As Above So Below' is also a highlight in its more emotional atmosphere.

If the whole album felt as fresh and charming as the highlights, instead of getting tiresome at some point, Utopia Perfection would surely be among the most interesting Finnish prog albums of this Millennium. I'd be happy to see a new album by them, but I have no idea if the group even exists anymore.

Matti | 3/5 |


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