Oh Belgium … it may be a small country, but it is definitely too good to be true… That delicious chocolate, great beer and fingerlicking good waffles seem to be not enough, no sir, Belgium also has produced tons of talented and creative musicians, I know it because I’m a fan of many of them. Twin Symbiosis, by Dyscordia, is an album that I recognized as a gem from the first listening, because the band has managed to make every detail shine so much that it is impossible to ignore, both, the music and the lyrics are reflections of a perfect and harmonious chaos, maybe that’s why it has taken me longer than usual to marinate all its subtleties and come to fully understand the complex gear designed by the band.
First of all, a bit of information. Dyscordia is a six piece melodic metal band, that literally pours jets of power and heaviness over the basis of a bold and innovative progressive metal. The line up consist on Piet Overstijns on clean vocals, guitarist Martijn Debonnet, Stefan Segers on grunts and also on guitar, drummer Wouter Debonnet, Guy Commeene on lead guitars and Wouter Nottebaert on bass. All band members come from bands like Gwyllion, Artrach, Varangian, Rhymes of Destruction, Anesthesy and Impedigon. Their first EP named Reveries was released in 2010 and gave them the chance to play live with some well known bands. Now in 2013 we have Twin Symbiosis, their first full length album. which was produced in Sweden by Jens Bogren, who having worked with bands like Symphony X, Katatonia, Paradise Lost, Opeth and Pain of Salvation, among others, is also able to leave a palpable mark on the album. Few days ago the band performed at the PPM fest in Mons, Belgium, and they will also perform on Dokk’em Open Air on June this year.
Personally I didn’t know about the existence of this band until now… Ok, I may have heard about their EP, but for some very stupid and unjustified reason that I cannot remember, I didn’t stop to listen. Don’t hate me, I’ve already punished myself for that. Dyscordia is a band that should not be taken lightly. They are really good, so good it’s scary. We can conclude that this is a concept album, as the title, Twin Symbiosis, refers to the relationship of a boy and his imaginary friend, about how this child (autistic and suffering of schizophrenia) found support in his “twin”, about how the two symbionts experience the hard times together and give life to each other through their dependency. Every song explores different aspects of the child’s life, and reflects his loneliness, anger, fear and doubts in the lyrics. Now, talking about the music, the album’s intro, Dreamcatcher Tree, could cause some serious brain damage to any mortal, one of that songs that you dont want to hear in the middle of the night, but you can’t resist, because the song is so dark, and yet so simple (just the clean voice of Piet Overstijns acquiring a creepy taste and an also creepy keyboard) that immediately envelops you in its macabre and disturbing aura, everything happens in slow motion, all around you, and the lyrics wrap us under the veil of anticipation, our external sensors are gradually turned off, leaving us immersed within the endless depths of our own psyche. You better be careful here, try deserting the hypnosis before the powerful and tasty guitar riff of The Empty Room begins, because if you dont, you’ll going to jump from your seat and reach the ceiling like a poor scared cat. The song is just wild, the three guitars fulfill their purpose to bring weight and heaviness, the skills of lead guitarist Guy Commeene are palpable from the beginning (this talented guy is also responsible for the artwork of the album), the powerful grunts of Stefan Segers are shown for the first time in the album, surprising with its heaviness, and which along Piet’s form a perfect blend of violence and melody. Piet has a spectacular range, and if his sublime interpretation, especially in the high notes of this song does not reach your bone marrow or causes you, at least, goose bumps, then you should worry, because you must be dead.
From Sight to Black brings again the explosion of energy, and also a slight oriental influence that is more than welcome. The lead guitar is dynamic, while the others sound dark and powerful, solid bass and compelling drum work. A catchy chorus easily captures all the attention, and while the lyrics are raw, the solos are modern, neat and tasty. Next song, Rise to Perception, is dangerously aggressive, and you better grab to something before it makes you jump from your seat again. The song is anthological, overwhelming, and also has a deliciously varied structure with irregular rhythms that reinforce the unique style of the band and delight the ear with surprises at every turn. Aches of Hearts starts with a very short acoustic intro, to then give way to some heavy riffs throughout the song. The adrenaline decrease a little here, the vocal melody is beautiful and flows freely in the verse, and when Stefan’s effervescent grunts join the always soulful and fine voice of Piet, we can feel the intensity slashing the air with its furious whip. The solo here is vibrant and addictive. Very touching lyrics gives such an emotional charge to the song, that I wished to finish the album soon to hear it again. Well, that’s what I’d normally do if the rest of the songs weren´t worthy, but thanks to the metal gods, the album had still plenty to offer, that I was clear with The Loser’s Game, an energetic song that almost begs you to turn up the volume, very progressive, with a very interesting rhythmic and the predominance of the evil grunts. Once again, the lyrics are emotional and thoughtful.
The guys slow down their revolutions a bit with In Solitude, but only for the intro, then they keep lashing out with a merciless heaviness, sharpened riffs, top notch vocals, dynamic transicions, in short, a song extremely rich in each of its edges. And that is how the following songs Locked Within and Black Clown follow the same line of power and smart design, especially highlighting their main tasteful riffs, the voices that are in a mortal duel every second and the catchy choruses. Something I should point out is the individuality that Dyscordia pleasantly shows. Of course we could invoke some influences on their music, I personally hear a lot of Symphony X, Death, Opeth, even Dream Theater, but it would be a big mistake to try to compare them, the album has a soul and is completely original and revolutionary. Dyscordia has tattooed its name in its music. The mixture these guys make of progressive, power and heavy metal, besides their unleashed melodies, everything has the band’s name written in capital letters. The title track, Twin Symbiosis, brings a special weight on guitars, the heaviness is once more remarkable and Piet’s voice reflects pure fragility in every note. Each word in the lyrics is so heartfelt and real, that I couldn’t help myself and end up releasing a few tears in the middle of the verses. I must confess that the theme of autism and lonely children hits me too hard. My Devotion, the last track, it’s a definite highlight, the album closes majestically, when this last song derives in the same creepy melody of the intro track, sealing one of the most original and stunningly epic albums I’ve heard in a while.
This album could not have a more appropriate name, for the lyrics, and for the amalgam of genres exposed. The question here is not whether this album is for you or not, the question is: Are you for this album? Twin Symbiosis is a brutal beating to the senses, like myriads of killer bees injecting a deadly pleasure straight to your heart; as a sovereign punch in the face that makes you crave for war without even understanding why. Complex, lethal, emotional, raw, heavy, progressive; all gathered in perfect harmony. The perfect combination of turbulence, darkness, talent and speed. So If you think you can resist the inhuman attack, I have four words for you… Buy the damn album!