The Great Discord is a Swedish act, formed in 2013. Hailing from Linköping, the band started their journey with “Duende” released in 2015 and from then on, the band has been slowly gaining a very solid fanbase. This year, they have supported some big acts such as Katatonia, Ghost and Kvelertak. Their sound is quite indescribable and unique; however, one description would be “progressive death pop”… yes you heard it right. At this point, I hope you are more curious than ever because the band is about to release their second full-length record called “The Rabbit Hole”. Inspired by Alice In Wonderland, the album tells the story of IRE, a sinister being in this evil and dark universe in the album. While the theme of the previous record was blue, the theme color of this record is red, which represents the aggression and the sinister atmosphere of IRE quite well… So let’s dig deep.
From “Dimman”, TGD already gives us signs that this is a dark album.. but don’t get me wrong. This is not the atmospheric kind of dark. On the contrary, the TGD sound has always been a mixture of prog and pop with the ‘metal’ vibe in it. So we are talking about a versatile sound that gets soft at some points and aggressive in other times…Lots of twists and turns, energy that is perfectly combined with the darkness… and this is exactly what “The Rabbit Hole” is all about. Just listen to “Gadget”, which, in my opinion, is the darkest and the most aggressive song in the album.
After spinning the record a few times, I realized just how much TGD has improved their sound, their style and their versatility ever since the release of the previous record. This is definitely the highlight of the record. Although the album has a certain pattern and a solid sound&style, each song is different; some darker and some softer. From a technical point of view, this is also reflected quite well. In slow songs, we see the ‘soft’ and amazing vocal style of Fia whereas in the darker and aggressive songs such as “Darkest Day” or “Gadget”, the band shows us just how energetic they can get with those bombastic drums and the aggressive vocals that Fia delivers.. and this is exactly the highlight for me. Each element – from the drums to the vocals- are in perfect harmony with each other and there is nothing which disrupts the overall atmosphere. The whole 40 minutes will pass so fast and the album will take you deeper and deeper into that rabbit hole and into the world of IRE. Speaking of elements and the sound, the vocals & the drums have been the highlights for me whereas the guitars are more in the background. Therefore, if you are a new of TGD, the first things you will recognize will be Fia’s magical vocals and Aksel’s versatile and energetic drumming.
There are certainly some highlights in the album. The biggest surprise for me was “Neon Dreaming” & “Cadence”, which are slow and ballad-like songs taking us into another space. I personally interpret these songs as ‘transitions’ into another stories as they are relatively slower songs in the record. Another highlight and a surprise in the record is the song “Omen” featuring Mark Holcomb from Periphery on guitars. This song has become my favorite for many reasons as it reflects the sorrow, the ‘omens’ so well… it might be the most intense song in the record along with “Tell Tale Heart”. I won’t spoil so much though… I leave the rest to the listener to explore the rabbit hole and the world of IRE and face their omens and their demons…
So much to say about “The Rabbit Hole”…. Listening to it over and over again definitely shook me, made me shiver, took me on an emotional journey and made me realize just how intense some records can be. Big kudos to TGD for improving their sound, twisting it, turning it and taking it to a next level. It’s not easy in this scene but it can be done… and The Great Discord did it. Get the album and hop down into the rabbit hole.
Fia Kempe – vocals
Aksel Holmgren – drums
André Axell – guitars
Gustav Almberg – guitars
Rasmus Carlson – bass
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