Talking about technical death metal bands in the modern age, the third full-length album from Norway’s Diskord ‘Degenerations‘ defines the term eccentricity through the medium of metal music. Formed in 1999 by Hans Jørgen Ersvik (drums, vocals), it has developed its own twisted recipe of old-school death metal. Despite the description, Diskord is very much rooted in old-school death metal, although the most intriguing component of the music lies in manner how the Norwegian trio melds bizarre elements of dissonance, jazz music and funky drum beats into one compelling and integral piece. The staccato riffing of the guitars and the use of complex techniques is widely showcased here. The band’s current lineup includes Eyvind Wærsted Axelsen (bass, vocals, synth, cello), and Dmitry Soukhinin (guitars, vocals).
It didn’t take me too long to fully get into this sonic paragon. The frantic opener ‘Loitering in the Portal‘ blends audible bass, strange guitar patterns and acrobatic twists. The drums are extremely technical, swaggering with stylish funky beats. Even the blast beats are professionally executed. There are many moments where the bass guitar shines on ‘Bionic Tomb Eternal‘. Diskord has taken many influences from progressive metal, but what really grabbed my attention is the robotic drum work. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Atheist and Voivod, the band delivers a great deal of complexity. The riff construction is symmetric with the rusty guitars and upbeat drum patterns while the musical hooks on ‘Abnegation‘ ooze heavily distorted riffs. Diskord delivers a concoction of seventies progressive rock, jazz music and old-school death metal. The trio also extracts components from psychedelic rock and fuses them with doom metal. This impeccable exhibition of varied sonic portions is integrated into the framework of each song.
‘The Endless Spiral‘ reminds me of the nineties old-school death metal bands like Disharmonic Orchestra, Cadaver and Atheist. There is plenty of raw death metal vibe applied from the guitars and the drums. ‘Dirigiste Radio‘ is filled with these eccentric harsh reverbs. The guitars are multilayered, but as the songs elapse the Norwegian trio unravels raw and sophisticated concoctions. In all sonic measures, I find the third album to be extremely unique. In one moment the drums morphs into speed, then abruptly switches to a jazz fusion style. Tracks like ‘Lone Survivor‘ and ‘Dragged for Coronation‘ emphasize the technical abilities of the guitars and the drums. While the frenzied pace creates some intensity, the drums boast their level of sophistication. Each track requires repetitive listening to fully grasp its twists and turns. ‘Clawing at the Fabric of Space‘ is full of jarring transitions, while the odd and unexpected rhythm guitar swirls in a vortex of paradox.
The guitars riffs on most of the songs are aggressive and often sound very complex. It goes without saying that ‘Degenerations‘ is an eccentric type of aggressive technical death metal. Diskord has crafted a highly architectural piece of musical technicality and wide experimentation. The bizarre interaction of polyphonic melodies and the chaotic whirlpool of riffs will suck you into a deep vortex. The trio is cognizant of how to create a state of hypnotism which is mainly brought by meticulously structured, slow, spacey guitar passages.
With the primitive rhythm style of Voivod, Diskord managed to merge the cacophonous dissonance. The propelling energy echoes with density, whereas the swirling dissonance of the complex guitars is enough to fuck you up. On each of the twelve tracks, the bass guitar is audible and contributes to the song structure. Where the guitar riffs are chromatic and full of heavy swells, the drums excel. ‘Raging Berzerker in the Universe Rigid‘ is extremely weird and jazzy. Later on, the track concentrates on speed.
The same with the following track ‘Gnashing‘ which swells with dissonance and fast sporadic drum beats. From the opening track to the album closure ‘Beyond the Grime‘ Diskord puts emphasis on creating psychosis and disorientation.
The guitars portray psychedelic and atmospheric passages. The use of the cello instrument proves once again that the band possesses creative ideas. The incredible interplay between the cello and the drums increases the momentum of this uncanny track. ‘Degenerations‘ is overwhelmingly impressive as it channels the twisted forms of death metal, but most importantly the Norwegian trio has successfully managed to sound refreshingly unique and old-school at the same time. Recommended for fans of Atheist, VoidCeremony, Morbus Chron and early Cadaver.
Release Date: August 13th, 2021
Label: Transcending Obscurity Records
- Loitering in the Portal
- Bionic Tomb Eternal
- The Endless Spiral
- Drigiste Radio
- Lone Survivor
- Dragged for Coronation
- Clawing at the Fabric of Space
- Atoms Decay
- Raging Berzerker in the Universe Rigid
- Beyond the Grime