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Radian - Discordian

by David Hough at 24 July 2022, 5:09 PM

RADIAN is a doom/sludge metal outfit from Akron, Ohio, and “Discordian” is their second album. This album sounds like NEUROSIS meets ACID BATH meets BLOODLET. To most metal fans, this sounds like an epic combination of influences. At times, “Discordian” sounds like a perfect amalgam of those aforementioned bands. Most of the time, however, the songs lack a certain dynamism that could separate this release from the countless other doom and sludge bands.

The second track, “To Light and Know,” starts off with a basic guitar riff, complemented by slow, almost chanted vocals with reverb for effect. This goes on for a minute and a half before the shouting starts. The shouted vocals are meant to counter the hushed lyrics in the intro. The clean vocals alternate with the shouts throughout the song. While it has its moments, I found this song a bit uninspired. At first listen, I was impressed, but after hearing the album several times, the novelty wore off.

Song three, “Painless Void,” features some whispered vocals a la DEFTONES at the outset. Then the song sets its plodding pace, which reminded me of NEUROSIS’ slow burners. Unlike NEUROSIS, though, “Painless Void” lacks a powerful crescendo. It maintains its slow pace indefinitely, only picking up the intensity. There are nice riffs, especially during the more exciting parts, but it just fell flat overall.

The fourth cut, “The Sun Spoils,” could have been a b-side for any song on BLOODLET’s “Three Humid Nights in the Cypress Trees” album. Unfortunately, this song made me want to listen to that album instead of “Discordian.” Riffing is slow and deliberate. It just feels so derivative. Where the BLOODLET influences end, the ACID BATH inspiration takes over. “The Sun Spoils” is my favorite track on the album, but even it wears thin upon multiple listens.

Track five, “At the End Again” is another slow-burner. I found the music to be monotonous while waiting for the song’s crescendo. There is a psychedelic passage halfway through that makes this one more bearable. Finally, with one-and-a-half minutes remaining, the crescendo comes along. Even then, it felt like your name was called at the doctor’s office instead of a thunderous, rewarding cacophony.

I know I’ve been bashing this album pretty hard. It’s not without its good points, but those diamonds in the rough are hidden deep within a boring song structure. Honestly, when I first listened to “Discordian,” I found it a fun throwback to the styles of genre legends like ACID BATH and CULT OF LUNA, but by the third listen, it all sounded too derivative, with lazy songwriting. Overall, this album feels painfully mediocre. All of the songs are fine, but none of them will be remembered in five years or so.

Songwriting: 4
Musicianship: 3
Memorability: 3
Production: 5

2 Star Rating

1. The Discordian
2. To Light and Know
3. Painless Void
4. The Sun Spoils
5. At the End Again
6. They Look Like Good Strong Hands
Jeff Fahl - Vocals
Mike Burns - Guitars/Samples
Bill Govan - Bass/Vocals
Jeff Sullivan - Drums
Sanford Parker - Additional Synth
Record Label: Elburno Records


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