DISKORD — Degenerations (review)

DISKORD — Degenerations album cover Album · 2021 · Technical Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
siLLy puPPy
DISKORD has been around since as far back as 1999 before the Y2K scare even panicked the world but this Norwegian band can hardly begin accused of flooding the market with too much product. In fact it took the an ever-changing lineup and eight years before its debut “Doomscapes” finally saw the light of day but if you count demos and EPs then there were three beforehand. Still though it would take another five years for the band’s second album “Dystopics” to be released and finally in the year 2021 DISKORD’s third album DEGENERATIONS has finally found its way out of the crypts.

While quantity is clearly not this Oslo band’s modus operandi, quality on the other hand is something that this band has clearly nurtured from one album to the next. This band has always been a little out there as far as death metal is concerned. While rooted in old school 90s death metal DISKORD has pretty much never abandoned those old school elements that made early 90s death metal so fucking badass! While “Doomscapes” entertained old school death metal with a touch of doom metal and technical workouts, the band has slowly but surely acquired a little more of an avant-garde taste on each subsequent album.

On this newest release DEGENERATIONS, DISKORD takes those progressive and technical infused liberties even further with a majorly satisfying run of 12 tracks that never stray far over the four minute playing time yet offer some of the most interesting stylistic shifts within what one could deem an old school death metal context. No band other than maybe Japan’s Defiled has so spectacularly maintained an old school sheen while infusing highly sophisticated and oft complex technical deviations laced with moments of progressiveness and downright psychedelic surprises. While all these elements were present as far back as “Doomscapes,” DISKORD has fully mastered its distinct sound although DEGENERATIONS seems to have tamped down the doom metal aspects in favor of a more dissonant style of modern death metal (dissodeath) which is right out of the Immolation, Gorguts, Ulcerate, Portal and Ad Nauseam.

Add to that some unexpected funky jazz grooves (like on “Bionic Tom Eternal”) and strange pick sliding meets power chords and doomy bass stomps such as on “The Endless Spiral” and what DISKORD delivers with DEGENERATIONS is its most complex and varied album of its career. In recent years modern metal bands have really excelled at marrying the old school rhythmic regularities with the more chaotic, dissonant and atonal aspects of modern tech death. DISKORD retains its 90s origins only updates their sound to fit in perfectly with the modern world of more sci-fi infused extreme metal. While some bands like Blood Incantation can craft sprawling psychedelic journeys laced with chugging death metal riffs (Qrixkuor takes this to the ultimate extreme on its latest “Poison Palinopsia,” DISKORD on the other hand keeps the tracks short and to the point with the artistic expression being truncated into micro-riffing, exotic grooves and off-kilter time signature deviations.

Despite the crafty experiments, once again DISKORD maintains its old school death metal charm with the easily recognizable tremolo guitar riffing, blastbeat percussive bombast and of course nasty guttural growls but successfully incorporate myriad experimental approach without allowing things to get too wild and unpredictable. The old school stomps keep the whole thing anchored to the 90s scene yet the spaced out accouterments add an interesting update to the old school sound and while most modern death metal is interested in heading to the stars these days it’s cool that some of these bands are simply OK flying into space for a day or two and coming back down to Earth. Well played, well produced and laced with outstanding compositions, DISKORD proves with DEGENERATIONS that its here for the long term however at this rate we’ll have to wait another ten years for the next album!
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siLLy puPPy wrote:
58 days ago
Yeah, they are a special band indeed. Unlike any other!
58 days ago
This is currently placing highly on my 2021 AOTY list. Superb stuff. Have checked out the debut also and love that too.
UMUR wrote:
58 days ago
I love Diskord and their unconventional bland of old school Norwegian death metal (Cadaver, early Darkthrone) and jazz/fusion elements. It´s like listening to the bastard child of the two mentioned Norwegian artists and Atheist.

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