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The Great Discord – The Rabbit Hole

The Great Discord
The Rabbit Hole
by Jose MaCall at 06 December 2017, 11:29 AM

The Rabbit Hole” by THE GREAT DISCORD offers an intriguing album cover. Some sinister art depicts a rabbit talking to what I assume is an unfortunate figure who is about to end up as the bunny’s prisoner. As pop culture has taught us, never go with anything into a subterranean domain, be it clown, rodent, or even mutated turtles. The surface dwellers have no business out of the sky’s reach. Even if you hate the sun, pick a cave to live in like your ancestors. As far as I could tell this was some kind of concept album from a band described as a kind of Progressive Doom Metal. I looked forward to a strangely structured grooving riff ride through another realm. Not unlike the surprised captives of hollow-Earth mole people, I found that digging under the surface of this cryptic album cover led to a dreaded turn of events.

The album starts out with an intro track that has some unsettling singing and sets an ominous tone. The music starts out with some interesting bass playing and some melodic notes. Then the singing kicks in and it’s, well, singing. Radio friendly, clean, Pop-Rock singing. It’s not particularly bad, it’s just very ho-hum.

The second song starts off with some aggressive drumming and some heavier chords but once again the cleans kick in and there are some parts like the “Whoo-hoooo” said during certain refrains that make the song sound almost silly. In fact there were a couple of times throughout the album where the clean vocals only helped me notice ridiculous lyrics: “HOW DAAAARE YOUUU!” What is this, a fight at the family dinner table where Aunt Gertrude said something too personal? “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 666!” Is The Count ghost writing lyrics now? I get this is art and it’s open to interpretation and all but when I want to dig into some evil metal for a good old-fashioned session of brain-injuring head banging, I don’t expect to hear a sassy “You want a taste, but you can’t have iiit!” If you can’t get enough clean singing, the 7th song on the album, “Neon Dreaming”, is a sappy ballad fit for a commercial with mistreated animals in a shelter that badly needs your donations.

This is maybe aimed at fans of EVANESCENCE or LACUNA COIL or something? I’m not particularly a fan of hard rock, or Goth rock, or wiener rock or whatever this genre is considered. The musicianship is decent but again it’s just not that outstanding. There aren’t any real killer leads, the riffs in several songs start out aggressively fast but often devolve into very light-sounding upbeat mainstream twinkle-toes type playing. It’s taking what could be some opportunities for intricate melodic segments and just muzzling the bite.

Everything I found unappealing about this album is more matter of taste than it is objective competency. Especially from a technical standpoint, as this is musically sound. The drumming on this album was great. There were times when the skins were getting fully battered that really lent an edge of intensity. If only everything else followed suit there might be a little more here to tear into. The Bass was solidly played and I wished a little more experimenting was done to get some meatier bass-lines. Guitar wise there were several changes in compositional direction and song tempo that were handled well. While there are some decent riffs here and there, the songs kept losing steam with the bouncy upturns and sentimental stops. The production value is crystal clear and squeaky-clean.

On an overall scale of heaviness, I rank this somewhere between High School fight song and motivational deodorant commercial. It just never took that final trek into brutal territory. Every time I thought that rapid double bass was going to go into full overkill mode, the song would take a more sunny turn. It just never really sold me. I listened to this album repeatedly and nothing aside from some of those standout funny phrases really stuck with me. I really wanted to like this album. I kept trying to re-listen to this one to find something to convince me, but I guess at my age the brain is too stuck in its ways to really change. I’ve gotten used to some cleans, but combined with the general feel of the music, this at times felt nu-metal-ish.

I don’t have an expertise with this type of hard rock sound, however if you are looking for cleaner female vocals and heavy music then I recommend you check out:  UNEXPECT, AUFHEBEN, SACRILEGE, GONIN-ISH, KING WOMAN, HAUNTED, ANCIENT MYTH, CAUCHEMAR, ASHES OF MAN, WOODEN STAKE, BOOK OF WYRMS, or try doing some research ya lazy bum!

Songwriting: 5
Originality: 5
Memorability: 4
Production: 10

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Dimman
2. Noire
3. Gadget
4. Darkest Day
5. Tell-Tale Heart
6. The Red Rabbit
7. Neon Dreaming
8. Downfall
9. Cadence
10. Omen
11.Persona 
Lineup:
Rasmus Carlson - Bass
Aksel Holmgren - Drums
Gustav Almberg - Guitars
André Axell - Guitars
Fia Kempe - Vocals, Clavinet
Record Label: The Sign Records
     


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