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SEASON CHANGES

Discordia

Eclectic Prog


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Discordia Season Changes album cover
3.95 | 9 ratings | 3 reviews | 11% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2015

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Season Changes (4:21)
2. Ideology (4:17)
3. Ignalina (8:24)
4. Taken (4:25)
5. Green Light (5:43)
6. Grip! (12:27)
7. Random Hearts (6:23)

Total Time 46:00

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Antti Tolkki / Guitar
- Riikka Hänninen / Vocals
- Petri Sallinen / Bass
- Sande / Guitar
- Otto Mäkelä / Drums
- Tero Väänänen / Vocals, Keyboards

Releases information

Label: 3rd Atelier
Format: CD, Digital
January 6, 2015

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Season ChangesSeason Changes
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DISCORDIA Season Changes ratings distribution


3.95
(9 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
11%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(56%)
56%
Good, but non-essential (22%)
22%
Collectors/fans only (11%)
11%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

DISCORDIA Season Changes reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by TCat
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The tag eclectic prog definitely fits this band. They hit quite a few prog subgenres through out this album, even in the course of a single song. And they do it very well. Almost every sound and mood that they generate is solid and believable. It also fits together very well. They have quite the prowess for instrumentals that work well to meld the sounds and feelings of the album together. There are a few weaknesses in the vocals that I feel have more to do with production than delivery, but that complaint does little to mess up this wonderful cacophony of sounds and moods. This is really quite the surprisingly enjoyable album.

We start off with a track that isn't really straightforward overall, but it does give you an idea of what to expect in the album. But as good as it is for a starting track, it give very little insight into the vocal harmonies that pop up several times through the album. Save that for the next track, "Ideology". These beautiful harmonies take you by surprise after that first track. There is a slight feeling of the airiness of the harmonies reminiscent of the UK band "Pure Reason Revolution", but where PRR has a slight weakness to their harmonies, Discordia makes up for that in this track by a feeling of confidence in their sound. However, that strength in the vocal harmonics suffers a bit in the next track, the 8 minute "Ignalina". The difference here is that the band ventures into dissonance which gives a great variance in the sound of the previous track, which I love, but because of the lack of confidence in presenting the dissonance here tends to make it sound unintentional. I believe the fault lies not in the performance in this track, but in the production. There are times you feel the confidence of the 2nd track, and other times when the harmonies get lost in the mix that it sounds hesitant. I feel like I'm spending a lot of time on this which is not a major problem considering that the track itself is made up of a lot more than vocal harmonics because there is still a lot of solo singing and a lot of amazing instrumentation also. I love the fact that they use these harmonics, the sound is amazing and I think if it the problem was fixed, this would have easily been a 5 star album. That's how good it is.

Next comes the track "Taken" which starts out sounding like it could be radio friendly song, but soon ventures off into territory that separates this band from the run-of-the-mill band. They quickly establish themselves apart from the typical band by adding some prog-folk flavor mixed with the complexity of Coheed & Cambria, but with better vocals. The next track "Green Light" is a personal favorite because it is so original and even though the music is quite accessible, it is deliciously different. The band continues to stay out of the trap of formulaic structure and they prove that they are talented by making believable music.

The next track is a 12-minute epic that continues to establish the band as a Eclectic prog force to be reckoned with. The vocal harmonies are there and are much better in this track, and the vocal solos are somewhat reminiscent of the vocals in "The Mars Volta", but much more accessible. That is until harmonics breaks into a classical-chorus style of singing (not operatic, but chorale style). Surprises continue to be around every corner on this track as it is throughout the album. Unfortunately, the closing track "Random Hearts" is the weakest track on the album. It sounds relatively straightforward and may be intended to be a radio song. It's an okay track, but it doesn't live up to the expectations that the other tracks have already established.

I know I talk a lot about the vocals in this album because I love the harmonics. They are not overbearing, they are on the album just enough that they are not overpowering, but they are there enough to be satisfying. It is the right balance of vocal solos and ensemble style singing. But, on top of this, the instrumentals are spot on. The guitar solos stand out the most and they are excellent. The guitar passages are an original sound and hard to compare with anyone else. There are several keyboard embellishments that are balanced well through the album and are mostly what you would expect from an eclectic band. Meters are constantly changing, but not in a haphazard way, everything seems to flow together so well.

This band from Finland really needs to get some notoriety in prog circles. They are surprising great musicians and with a little work, could be 5 star material. They are so close to it now. I would give them a 4.5 rating if it were possible, but I can't quite give them a 5 star rating because of a few flaws. I can tell you though, that if the trend that was set in the first 2 tracks continued into the longer 3rd track and consistently beyond that, this would have been 5 stars and at first I thought that I would have no choice but give them 5 stars because I could find nothing wrong at that point. But the difference in the 3rd track is too evident, even though it is not enough to distance yourself from the band. On the contrary, I highly recommend this album and hope that they continue in this same style of sound with a little more attention given to production and/or working on being constantly confident of where they want to take this sound. Excellent album. 4 stars, but that 5th star is a lot closer than a lot of established bands ever get to. It is so close to being 5 stars. Highly recommended.

Review by Matti
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Over 7 years since the debut album Utopia Perfection, the comeback of Finnish prog group DISCORDIA is a nice surprise. Gratefully their style hasn't gone through any radical changes. In Finland they sound quite unique (CONTEMPORARY DEAD FINNISH MUSIC ENSEMBLE comes close) and I believe many prog listeners would come to think of modern U.S. Eclectic Prog; the complexity tied together with muscular rock attitude, the general atmosphere which is closer to bold and cheerful than dark and depressed, and the vocal harmonies, the effective blending of male and female vocals.

At the first listening I felt slightly disappointed and thought that the album emphasizes too much on that guitar-dominated rock power and lacks of more sensitive nuances. (I guess I was at that precise moment in need of something more emotional instead of intellectual prog, which this band indeed is.) But the more you listen, the better it gets, and eventually the 46-minute album's rich and ambitious progressivity with all the finely crafted details is revealed loud and clear. There's no hint of clumsiness in the way each song is built up, like there perhaps was in the debut. The production - by the band - is excellent. So in the end this definitely is the better album of the two.

The opening title track is tight and melodic and occasionally it flirts closely with straight-forward, hard- boiled rock, but the rhythmic complexity and multi-layered vocals make it sound prog. On 'Ideology' the roaring rock guitar is very dominant but the latter half includes some interesting twists. 'Ignalina' (8:24) brings really delicious art music flavour in details such as a harpsichord sound, and especially the dialogue-like, majestic vocals, starting in French, give me fond associations to the classic GENTLE GIANT.

'Green Light' is one step closer to emotional softness (without quite being that) and is a welcome change, as well as the closing track 'Random Hearts', which is a relatively accessible male/female duet with a fair dose of pop sensibility. The longest track 'Grip!' is fully loaded with prog charasteristics, and it carries the 12½ minutes succesfully without losing the clue. I'm almost certain this album will be on Top Three of the Finnish prog albums this year. If not, it will be a great prog year.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Finnish band DISCORDIA was formed back in 2001, and has slowly but surely developed their craft ever since. They have two EPs and two albums to their name so far. "Season Changes" is the most recent of the latter, and was released by the band in 2015.

Discordia provides a well-made specimen of modern day challenging progressive rock with their second album "Season Changes". Their choice of band name does indeed indicate something about the music they create, and while rather far removed from the most challenging bands out there, this is music made to be appreciated by those who enjoy a band with an eclectic and unconventional approach to the art of making progressive rock. And a band that merits a check by those who find such a description to be alluring.

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