"some music was meant to stay underground..."

70000 Tons of Metal - The World's Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise

Dyscordia - "Twin Symbiosis" (CD)

Dyscordia - "Twin Symbiosis" CD cover image

"Twin Symbiosis" track listing:

1. Dreamcatcher Tree
2. The Empty Room
3. From Sight to Black
4. Rise to Perception
5. Ache of Hearts
6. The Loser's Game
7. In Solitude
8. Locked Within
9. Black Clown
10. Twin Symbiosis
11. My Devotion

Reviewed by on July 5, 2013

"...[I]magine progressive/power tied to a chair while death and thrash waterboard it to death. Spastically kicking, choking and coughing…the good is overwhelmed by the negative. It is beautiful, precise and deadly."

Discord: 1. an inharmonious combination of musical tones sounded together; 2. any confused or harsh noise; dissonance.

Dyscordia: 1. A Belgian progressive metal band comprised of six well adept musicians from all backgrounds incorporating countless styles into its own music in order to perform in a mismatched union; 2. See above

Looking over the pedigree of this seemingly inharmonious sextet, you needn’t ask “how did you pick your band name?” Death metal (Stefan Segers, guitar, Varangian) blasts through symphonic power metal (Martijn Debonnet, guitars/vocals, Ex-Gwyllion; Piet Overstijns, vocals, Ex-Gwyllion) as thrash attacks from the side (Guy Commeene, guitars, Ex-Battallion/Ex-Anesthesy) with outstanding progressive elements (Wouter Nottebaert, bass/vocals, Ex-Artrach), with hard rocking melody of the traditional styles (Wouter Debonnet, drums, Ex-Double Diamond). Confused? Literally, this is what Dyscordia is. To put it another way, imagine progressive/power tied to a chair while death and thrash water board it to death. Spastically kicking, choking, and coughing…the good is overwhelmed by the negative. It is beautiful, precise and deadly.

Listening to “Twin Symbiosis” is a cornucopia for the ears, as I can pick up pieces and nuances and drawn influences from across the spectrum of heavy music: Opeth, Gamma Ray, Rush, Linkin Park, Coheed & Cambria, Magellan, Epica, and so many more. Throughout the cavern of dissonance, a sturdy tightrope of melody is strung between beginning and end. In stark difference to a band like Watchtower, where the chaos is the start point, Dyscordia inverts the process. The music always starts with melody, and the band allows it to teeter to and fro, but never fails to steer it straight amidst the free-for-all. With three vocalists, the styles rage from Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray) to Mark Jansen (Epica) to Trent Gardner (Magellan) to Claudio Sanchez (Coheed & Cambria), so at times it feels like an all-star project.

“The Empty Room” and “From Sight to Black” both maintain a melodious power line as they are thrashed by progressive and death elements. With “Rise to Perception,” the progressive chaos takes over – with dancing fretboards that recreate that odd “45 degree melody” (imagine the music on a straight line….with the vocals taking a harmonious 45 degree angle), which I have only heard once before with Tyr. “Ache of Hearts” has a real “New Divide” Linkin Park feel to it, but the chorus takes it to a whole new level. Other notable winners are “The Loser’s Game,” “My Devotion,” and the two personal favorites “Locked Within” and “Black Clown” - the two tracks representing the album’s finest melody and best representation of the totality of the band’s arsenal.

This brings me to a stylistic gripe. While there is can be no argument that Dyscordia represents a rising star in an overcrowded progressive scene with a never dull incorporation of a zillion styles, at times the desire for over complexity degrades the memorability (catchiness) of the songs – a quality I value just as much as musicianship. Overall, my personal problem with progressive metal is “staying power” over time (or at the very least many weeks). Perhaps it’s a bit unfair to use Dyscordia as my soapbox scapegoat since the band more or less drives the straight line rather than veering towards the insomnia curing of Dream Theater. However, while I am easily wowed by the immense talent and musicianship, I wonder whether the album still stay on my playlist? Time will tell.

Highs: A highly enjoyable clash of styles while maintaining order.

Lows: Complexity diminishes memorability a bit.

Bottom line: A synergy of styles from all walks of heavy music...Dyscordia lives up to its name!

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)