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Discus - ... tot licht CD (album) cover





4.11 | 60 ratings

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4 stars This is the first prog album that I ever heard from and Indonesian band actually, and I’m quite surprised that there’re actually such a band who capable to make something this excellent from my country! The band combines various elements in their music. But more importantly they still mix traditional Indonesian folk in it, which is good because it gives a unique addition to their sounds.

Now, let’s go through the tracks.

‘System Manipulation’: Great opening track, there’re various styles here right from the beginning. Jazz, metal, and some Indonesian traditional music sounds blend very nicely throughout the song. The keyboard work here is really great, and probably among the strongest elements of this song.

“Breathe”: The first time I heard this song, I thought to myself: ‘What’s this, some kind of a theme song for an evil emperor?’ Really, I mean, listen to the opening part of this song. Heavy and raw vocals combined with some funky metal music plus an evil laughter, who wouldn’t get that kind of impression? Personally I find that part is actually a bit annoying, and the lyrics just make it worse. But other than that, the rest of the track itself is alright. There’re quite nice mix, mostly jazz and metal here. However, the vocal seems to be stretched out a bit (and some are quite annoying) in a few parts.

‘P.E.S.A.N’ (or MESSAGE in English) is actually a nice ballad song, with some pleasant and calming melody that provides a bit of break from the previous 2 tracks. The vocals, however doesn’t work that well with the music. I think this song is better played instrumentally, though it still enjoyable as it is.

‘Verso Kartini – Door Duisternis Tot Licht!’ is personally my favorite track from the album. The song is about R.A. Kartini, the Indonesian women hero who fought for women’s right during the old times. The opening part of this song gives the traditional atmosphere to the song, which soon goes heavier but with some nice jazzy felling on it. The styles often changes, as the song goes heavier for a while and then turn into a soft traditional-like melody. The composition of this song is excellent, as well as the music itself. Other highlights from this song are likely goes to the guitar and the flute, as they’re quite dominating in some parts. Awesome track!

‘Music for 5 Players’: This is actually a rather interesting track. The problem is on its length. Seriously, what’s the point of playing instruments in solo for over 7 minutes? Man, it’s just too long! If it’s the musician’s right to make the song then we, the listeners, have the right to criticize it! But I think I wouldn’t really mind if this track is going just for about 1-2 minutes as a transition between the other songs.

‘Anne’: This track has a nice opening melody, which then developed into a more complex song. After gone through the instrumental play, you’ll hear voices that you’ll usually hear at the traditional Balinese dance, Kecak, as a short interlude which is quite interesting. However, the Jazzy sax play that follows up after that sounds a bit abrupt though it actually won’t ruin the songs. Around the middle of the song, the music becomes softer with the piano and female singing. The violin that could be heard in some part of the song make this track a bit symphonic prog-like. This song has a great ending, with the strong female singing and some orchestrations.

Some of the tracks here are excellent and really a stand out of the album, such as ‘Verso Kartini…’ and ‘Anne’, though there’re also a few tracks that don’t work too well. The traditional Indonesian folk which mostly provided by the gamelan (traditional Javanese NOT Japanese instrument), flute, and acoustic guitar add the extra highlight of the album, as it creates such a unique sound. Apart from the tracks, criticism also goes for the lyrics. IMO the lyrics aren’t really good, especially in some parts of the tracks, yes even with the English lyrics!

Overall, this is a great album. Give it a few more listening if it (and probably it’s likely) didn’t catch you on the first chance, and let’s hope we will hear even more great Indonesian bands!

kazansky | 4/5 |


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