Dyscordia – Twin Symbiosis
Dyscordia – Twin Symbiosis (2013)
Reviewed by: Arno Callens
Belgium can be a particulary tough breeding ground for anything metal that isn’t in some way designed to cater to the underground. Thrash and black bands come and go, swapping members faster than you can remember any of their songs. A welcome exception to this depressing trend are the ‘Kortrijkzanen’ (Kortrijk, which translates badly to ‘Short Realm’ is a hole in the ground in the west of Flanders) of Dyscordia, whose eclectic brand of progressive metal stands against the stream of metallic mediocrity.
Forged from the ashes of Artrach, Double Diamond, and Gwyllion (three already solid acts), Dyscordia taps the progressive sources of the first, the heavy metal stylings of the second, and the melodic sensitivity of the third. The band includes musicians from rich musical backgrounds, playing no nonsense and easily accessible prog, including influences from both power and melodic death metal. In this genre it’s all too easy to throw around comparisons with Dream Theater and Symphony X, but Dyscordia never feels like a rip-off: never less than one hundred percent fresh.
On to the songs. My proper introduction to this steadily blossoming gem was a live gig at Skull Fest a few weeks ago (where Dyscordia shared a stage with Lancer and Steelwing, among others), and “The Empty Room” was the first track they unleashed. Promoting their recently released debut album Twin Symbiosis, “The Empty Room” sees Dyscordia at its most dynamic: shifting rhythms, moods, and melodies without disruption, all wrapped up in a very engaging and experimental experience.
Noteworthy are the choruses, which are outstanding on the mesmerizing “From Sight To Black”, string-tugging “Ache Of Hearts”, the roaring “In Solitude”, and upbeat “Black Clown”. More decidedly ‘proggy’ are the dense “Rise Of Perception”, eerie title track “Twin Symbiosis”, and closer “My Devotion”. Dyscordia draws you in assuredly, and rewards repeated listens. Instrumentally, the triple guitar attack provides a rich texture, and a background never devoid of interesting things happening. Vocalist Piet Overstijns not only has a very relaxed attitude around the stage (addressing the audience in the proper Flemish dialect, instead of forced English), but he and guitarist Martijn Debonnet make for a versatile clean-versus-harsh exchange.
Piling praise on a local band reeks of jingoism, but I can assure you the Belgian scene rarely excites, the work of Dushan Petrossi notwithstanding. Dyscordia can play prog with the best of them, and without forgetting their roots, has the potential to crawl out of the hole of Short Realm and conquer at least a larger portion of the world. I’m not proud to be a Belgian, because I have no use for such political sentiment, but it’s easier to stomach those who do when there are bands like this one to back their stance. Twin Symbiosis marks a professional and promising first effort, and hopefully a much longer-lived career than the triumvirate it originated in.
4.0 // 5