Dyscordia - Words In Ruin

(CD 2016, 57:12, Road Mark Productions RMP30316)

The tracks:
  1- Templum Creationis(1:00)
  2- Harlequin's Grief(5:03)
  3- Bail Me Out(6:31)
  4- Reveries(5:20)
  5- A Perfect Day(4:35)
  6- Never Will(6:41)
  7- Sacred Soil Of Souls(3:07)
  8- The Masquerade(6:29)
  9- Chthonic Star(5:39)
10- Words Of Fortune(7:55)
11- My Land(4:46)

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Dyscordia are a Belgian progressive power metal band. In 2013 they recorded their critically acclaimed debut album Twin Symbiosis after releasing the EP Reveries in 2010. Recently they recorded the successor Words In Ruin which lifts Dyscordia to a higher level. While listening to this album − which sees Jens Borgen returning as co-producer - you'll notice that the songs have matured. They're now ready to enter the premier league of prog metal bands. Dyscordia's line-up still consists of Piet Overstijns as their lead vocalist in the 'clean voice' sections, guitarist Stefan Segers who also sings during the heavier passages, guitarist Martijn Debonnet, lead guitarist Guy Commeene, who's responsible for most of the solos, bass player Wouter Nottebaert and this time on drums Wouter Debonnet. These six musicians are in perfect harmony on Words In Ruin.

It's hard to compare Dyscordia to other bands, but if you blend the power metal of Helloween and Avantasia with Opeth's rough vocals and you add the melodic elements and twin solos of Iron Maiden, you might get an idea of Dyscordia's sound. Opening track Templum Creationis is a one-minute instrumental intro for Harlequin's Grief that provides you a first indication of the upcoming melodic guitar sounds. This track immediately creates the album's mood: powerful metal drums and bass laying a solid foundation for the very melodious solos and a strong combination of clean and 'harsh' voices. Bail Me Out may be the heaviest song on the album: it is dark, double bass driven and nasty. The vocals that remind me of Mikael Åkerfeldt (Opeth) are the trademark for this great composition.

Reveries refers to the first debut EP; it's the first song the band ever wrote as a collective. The way it is produced provides the song a new sound. A Perfect Day is pure power metal, with an occasional rough moment. It's not that heavy as the previous songs, but just as impressive. Compared to the last album, you'll notice that all of the songs are played at a very brisk tempo. Take for instance Never Will: a nice 'full speed ahead' song containing wonderful soloing and a nice tuned sounding basic riff. A well-deserved rest is offered by the slower, acoustic Sacred Soil Of Souls, wherein Overstijn's gently doubled vocals shine. It shows a metal band also capable of writing smoother compositions that nicely fit to the other songs on the album.

The Masquerade returns to power metal, but it adds multiple vocals, making it a nice and accessible composition: classic rock meets power metal, I would say. The single Chthonic Star was released a while ago and could be seen on YouTube. For me this impressive song was the reason why I asked our general editor to review Words In Ruin. This song nestled somewhere in my head. It blends both vocal styles and highlights all three guitars in perfect harmony. Words Of Fortune ends the regular album, being an epic in Dyscordia style influenced by Iron Maiden's tales To Tame A Land and Rhyme Of The Ancient Mariner, but covered with a hot Opeth sauce. This eight-minute song is the perfect apotheosis for the album. As a bonus you get a cover of My Land from Sonata Arctica, another song that was previously released, but then as a contribution to a tribute album.

Dyscordia have released a stunning album and they are absolutely ready for the next step. I guess Words In Ruin is the perfect album to pave the way for a bright and powerful future. Well done!

****+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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