Today we have the privilege of sharing an early stream of ‘Triptych‘ the third full-length album from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma-based technical/progressive death metal trio DISCHORDIA which releases this coming Friday, April 29th on Compact Disc, Cassette, Vinyl, and Digitally by way of our good friends at choice underground extreme metal label Transcending Obscurity Records.
A truly progressive vision of technical brutal death mania given to elaborate suites of swerving avant-garde dissonance, mathcore-attested bristling and a clashing triumvirate of maniac aggression with heavy grooves and artful refrains — this third album finds Dischordia at new apex, a higher state of impressively conceived and truly extreme death metal abstraction. Their sound is impossibly heady at first listen, a complex and engrossing approach to composition generative of experiential listening rather than the usual flashy foray, one that’ll activate brains attuned to the broad spectrum of high-engagement death metal extremes from the internalized sluicing of Ulcerate to the harsh-angled abandon of Defeated Sanity, the filthy math-angular calculus of Pyrrhon and the bass-driven disorderly order of labelmates Diskord. Yet ‘Triptych‘ is its own sort of beast, curated as an seamless set of compositions which snap into greater sense when the mind is given time to breathe by way of a chain rattling eerie, flute assisted dark ambient horror and all manner of steps in and out of the harried action they present. Beyond the greater sensation the full listen provides, the moment-to-moment assault of their sound is beautifully rendered with admirable attention paid to the bass guitar tone as a dynamic force, the sly placement of the guitar work and the never obstructive vocal presence. It is a shadowy space they inhabit yet all three members get prime placement within the corrugated steel maze they’ve built. It is a lot to take in and of course I’d recommend you do so with some attention paid rather than a cursory grind through as the details here are always worthy of the ear given. To help illuminate your entrance these fellowes have been kind enough to answer a few questions about style, the creative process and themes behind the album. An short interview follows next, but keep scrolling down for the full stream of the album.
Thanks goes out to the artist and Transcending Obscurity for the opportunity to share this fine album with the masses. Scroll down to the YouTube embed below to experience the whole thing, as always do your best to support the global death metal underground and grab a physical copy from Transcending Obscurity’s Bandcamp or website.
‘Triptych’ is arguably your most ambitious record to date and appears to be a full-on concept album per the title and the three chapter format. Is there a continuous narrative running through each of the three sections (The Observer, The Chariot, The Escape)? Between the song titles and ‘Binge / Purge’ I’d guess there is some reference to the fall of Rome, or, western civilization in general. Do the panels on the cover art tie into this theme directly?
Thank you. We value the art of storytelling. Despite the growls, grunts, and screams, there is usually a fairly complex tale woven within our lyrics. Binge/Purge was our interpretation of the growing authoritarianism within the American political system told through the lens of Dante’s Divine Comedy. In some ways, Triptych continues certain themes we explored in B/P, but takes a broader exploration. The suites are fairly self-contained, but there is a progression of perspective from the cosmic, to the societal, to the inner workings of consciousness. The cover art is a representation of the great eye belonging to “the observer,” the growing social inequality between classes captured with the chariot, and the fragile tension between wake and dream states.
With so much detailed work going into the moving parts of music described as technical, brutal, progressive, dissonant, etc. where do you all start in terms of composition? Is it a matter of finding the right bones, or, rhythmic outline to fit a certain expected density of ideas, or was ‘Triptych’ whittled away at one song at a time ’til complete? I suppose I’m most interested in the process of normalizing the character of such an ambitious album so that it flows to such a degree.
The thematic idea for Triptych came fairly early on in the process. We love the idea of writing suites, especially after it worked so well on our previous LP, Thanatopsis. We began writing for this album in 2019 when we were touring on B/P. All three of us are constantly creating, so there’s rarely a lack of material to work with. We throw ideas at each other all the time, be it a riff, a section, or even a full song. We feed off each other well and are open to feedback in order to best serve the song or passage. We rarely sit down and think, “Hmm, how can we make this part really, really crazy?” (Ok yeah sometimes we do). We feel that our writing is organic and a solid blending of our personalities and influences. We took what songs were written or close to being finished and laid out which would fit best within each suite concept. Looking back, it all felt pretty natural. For example, the first thing written in the last track (“La Petite Mort”) happened to be the ending of the song. It felt like an appropriate closing riff to the song/album. We then worked backwards to finish the song. This was definitely our most collaborative effort to date. Despite how awful lockdown was in 2020, it gave us plenty of time to expand and refine these songs to the nth degree before heading into the studio. Also, aside from drums, we tracked everything in-house for the first time. This gave us another level of control over what we were trying to capture.
If we can consider ‘Thanatopsis’ the point where the band had found its own voice, or, where your fingerprints had begun to really show, had you all consciously aimed to one-up the previous record with ‘Triptych’? Where’d the motivation come from to build something bigger and better? Had you learned anything from the ‘Binge / Purge’ sessions that’d been applied to the new album?
Yeah, we really honed in on our sound during Thanatopsis, I think we were looking for something challenging or different at the time. Before Thanatopsis while we still wrote together as a band, much of the material came from individual ideas. There was a time when you could listen and go “that’s a Turner song, that’s a Keeno song, and that’s a Josh song.” Now, we synthesize and elaborate our individual styles into a stronger, more mature Dischordia noise. Binge/Purge was our first time recording on our own. That started with the 2 song format before we wrote any riffs. This allowed us to go deeper and explore anything and everything we wanted to in our creativity. B/P was also the first time Turner and Keeno completed a full lyrical concept together, so we learned they could push each other even more. B/P uncovered a better creative process for us, and Triptych was the next logical conclusion. While we didn’t have the goal of one-upping B/P or Thanatopsis, it’s only natural to aim for bigger and better things when composing or playing. There’s always a moment looking back where we can say, “Remember when playing ‘X’ song or riff was damn near impossible? What were we thinking? Who wrote this shit?!” Now it’s second nature and we’re off to the next big challenge.
Maybe it’d been my deathcore phobia kicking in at the time but I recall your first couple of records having more of a djent lean to their rhythms, if not more frequent mathcore nods. Are you all into either scene? I figure in nowadays tech and prog death some overlap is unavoidable, eh. Has Dischordia intentionally moved on from that influence, or is that side of the band integrated differently nowadays?
The heart of our sound will always be death metal. We’ve pulled from a wide range of influences over the years. Our love for Meshuggah and Dillinger has earned us the djent and mathcore tags a few times. We don’t shy away from it, and we don’t lean into it either. The strong groove focus became a kind of bedrock to our sound even while experimenting with more brutal, chaotic, and dissonant qualities. We’ve definitely leaned more into those last three elements in recent years, but it’s hard to say if that’s intentional or just a natural progression as our writing process became more collaborative. We write music that we want to hear, which is why no one likes it.
What is the best way that fans can support Dischordia? Will you be touring the album at some point?
Simple: buy our record and merch at dischordiaband.bandcamp.com, engage with our stupid, #dadmetal humor through Facebook and Instagram, and catch us live in the near future. Keeno just had his second kid, so we will only be playing some select shows and festivals this summer. We plan to get out a lot more in 2023. Also, look for more videos and playthroughs in the coming months.
Thank you for your time.
Per the press release:
Forging the brutal, technical and dissonant death metal styles, Dischordia have created a triumvirate of evolved and complicated death metal which will require the unspooling of brains to fully decipher it. It may have to be soaked overnight or given as much time with it too, for indeed, to absorb such an imposing mass of music, multiple listens particularly with the aid of headphones to help dissect it are mandatory. Every song on the album offers something unique; what’s peculiar are the unconventional interludes of all kinds giving the listener some strange form of respite, lest the brains explode, which are both calming and unsettling, always preparing you for the invariable climax. Every song is a triumph. Each offers its own reward. There’s so much happening at all times, it would probably feel too claustrophobic if it weren’t for the brilliant mixing and mastering work done by Colin Marston (Gorguts, Replicant), ensuring clarity without sacrificing Dischordia‘s brain-liquefying heaviness. Unpredictable, almost narrative structuring, brings out the best performances from the members, each of whom is trying to attain a whole new level. And even with the interludes and various unique instruments being brought into play, the sound remains largely cohesive and impactful. All in all, this is a masterwork where music of this kind goes. It sets new standards in extremity with bold, thoughtful application and ferocious execution.
FFO: Gorguts, Wormed, Ulcerate, Ingurgitating Oblivion, Logistic Slaughter, Sunless, Replicant, Chaos Motion.
Line up –
Bass, Flute, Vox, Percussion, & Wrenches by Josh Turner
Guitars, Vox, & Slam Ball by Keeno
Drums, Guitar, Piano, & Filing Cabinet by Josh Fallin
Mixed & Mastered by Colin Marston (Gorguts, Replicant)
Artwork by Gianna Martucci-Fink
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