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Discordia - Season Changes CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.97 | 11 ratings

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4 stars Over 7 years since the debut album Utopia Perfection, the comeback of Finnish prog group DISCORDIA is a nice surprise. Gratefully their style hasn't gone through any radical changes. In Finland they sound quite unique (CONTEMPORARY DEAD FINNISH MUSIC ENSEMBLE comes close) and I believe many prog listeners would come to think of modern U.S. Eclectic Prog; the complexity tied together with muscular rock attitude, the general atmosphere which is closer to bold and cheerful than dark and depressed, and the vocal harmonies, the effective blending of male and female vocals.

At the first listening I felt slightly disappointed and thought that the album emphasizes too much on that guitar-dominated rock power and lacks of more sensitive nuances. (I guess I was at that precise moment in need of something more emotional instead of intellectual prog, which this band indeed is.) But the more you listen, the better it gets, and eventually the 46-minute album's rich and ambitious progressivity with all the finely crafted details is revealed loud and clear. There's no hint of clumsiness in the way each song is built up, like there perhaps was in the debut. The production - by the band - is excellent. So in the end this definitely is the better album of the two.

The opening title track is tight and melodic and occasionally it flirts closely with straight-forward, hard- boiled rock, but the rhythmic complexity and multi-layered vocals make it sound prog. On 'Ideology' the roaring rock guitar is very dominant but the latter half includes some interesting twists. 'Ignalina' (8:24) brings really delicious art music flavour in details such as a harpsichord sound, and especially the dialogue-like, majestic vocals, starting in French, give me fond associations to the classic GENTLE GIANT.

'Green Light' is one step closer to emotional softness (without quite being that) and is a welcome change, as well as the closing track 'Random Hearts', which is a relatively accessible male/female duet with a fair dose of pop sensibility. The longest track 'Grip!' is fully loaded with prog charasteristics, and it carries the 12 minutes succesfully without losing the clue. I'm almost certain this album will be on Top Three of the Finnish prog albums this year. If not, it will be a great prog year.

Matti | 4/5 |


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