So, it’s almost beach time, that one week every year where I get to not give a shit about anything for seven days other than reading sci-fi books in front of the Atlantic Ocean, drinking every damn thing on the Dogfish Head brewpub menu, and watching my dog gleefully bark at every person she sees from her balcony perch.
But, the key word there is “almost.” As in, I am dragging hard, needing something to punch me in the face repeatedly along the way before solace arrives. That gives me reason to need something like “Oscillations,” the new mini-album from tech-minded Nordic death metal maulers Diskord, where my brain can be teased, my face can be punched, and I can be tossed all over the place like I’m fighting off the world’s largest industrial fan. This new six-track collection is the first new music from the band since 2012’s “Dystopics” (itself the first full-length they delivered in five long years since their 2007 debut “Doomscapes”), so it seems kind of lavish already to be hearing back from these guys. But no complaints, mind you. This is one of those bands that can play music-for-dorks-style death metal (and I mean that in as loving a way as possible), but in a way that makes it seem like they might want to douse you in flames. Yeah, musicians will dig this for the intelligent playing, but thrashers out there will get plenty of gnaw on as well. By the way, this killer is so massive, it’s being co-released by two labels: Hellthrasher Productions and Australopithecus Records.
The three dudes who play in this band look like mild-mannered gents on the outside, but once they open up their personal portal to hell, you know you’ve been deceived by the book’s cover. Good for you, you judgmental jerk. The dudes who comprise this band–drummer/vocalist Hans Jorgen Ersvik, guitarist Havard Ostli, and bassist/vocalist Eyvind Waersted Axelsen–keep brutality and stunning musicianship as perfect teammates, never going too far off the rails into either territory. Their playing is channeled and a lot of fun to hear, as usual, and this quick check-in before their next record should be more than enough to tide over their audience and leave them wanting more at the same time.
“A Downward Spire” is your first dose of Diskord’s insanity, unloading with aggressive playing, a path that twists and turns all over the place (with zero regard for the health of your spine), and harsh vocals that get their damage-ridden messages across. The drumming is particularly fiery, eventually the track slows down to let some sludge bubble up, and then it’s back on a mad dash toward the finish line. “Elytrous Oscillator” is calculated in its attack, as if it’s carefully following a blood-written battle plan. The growls return and are filled with menace, the song gets techy but also monstrously deadly, and the back end of the track is filled with fluid soloing and razor-sharp lead lines. “Hermit Dream” starts on a weird note, with strange noises circulating in the atmosphere and the song unfolding on a pretty bizarre path. Dark riffing emerges, as the song gets uglier and deadlier, and there’s a sense of a science fiction tale about to go horribly wrong as it moves on its way. The singing goes back and forth from harsh shriek to guttural growl, and the guitar work explores into parts unknown, not knowing what species they may unearth.
“Horrid Engine” rips open with some gnarly bass work that’s just nasty, and the fellows finally let themselves show off their chops a bit more on this track. Still, when they unleash their prowess, it isn’t self-indulgent and hard to swallow like so many other bands. Instead, it just makes their style of death a little more rubbery. “Lethargic Regression” is anything but that, as the band settles into a smothering death groove that keeps thrashing harder and harder, and now and then, they pull back the reins only to mash you full throttle again moments later. Closer “Symbiotic Whims” greets you with throat-mangling growls right off the bat, and the music is fast and meaty. The howls are wild and unhinged, the tempos change on a dime over and over again, and the finish has some bizarre, damage-riddled playing that leaves a gaping hole and melted metal leaking everywhere.
Yeah, just when I needed a good ass kicking to get into gear, Diskord provided that with this crushing mini-album “Oscillations.” The band remains as fresh, energetic, and entirely their own beast as ever before, and their next full-length certainly will be a heavily anticipated slab at this site and I’m sure many others. If you’re looking for something to get the frayed wires in your head operating again or just want to get you face smashed by something intelligent and thought provoking, this band can treat what ails you every damn time.
For more on the band, go here: http://diskord.net/
To buy the album, go here: http://hellthrasher.com/shop/
For more on the label, go here: http://www.hellthrasher.com/
And here: http://www.australopithecusrecords.com/