Dyscordia unravel 2020 with a sneaky release of their third full length Delete/Rewrite, coming seemingly out of nowhere. With it the Belgian prog metal outfit carry on in large the sound from Words in Ruin (2016). Insofar that while it has all the right elements, and all the pieces seem to fit, Delete/Rewrite just doesn’t seem to fully stick; it has a lot of great moments and heaps of promise to make a well rounded, well crafted, elegant album that skirts the lines of the extreme genres and angry progpower. Much like its predecessor it grows toward the second half, and repeated listens continue to make the entirety grow with each replay. It’s a crushingly hard listen, with unrelenting, towering riff work and blazing melodic leads from Martijn Debonnet, Stefan Segers, and Guy Commeene setting the stage atop the pounding drums and bass lines from Wouter Debonnet and Wouter Nottebaert respectively.
Debonnet also continues to handle vocals alongside Piet Overstijns; their dual approach is one of the greatest elements of Dyscordia’s approach. Debonnet’s massive, fearsome growls add further depth and emotion to Overstijns’ well handled cleans and adds to the constant flirting with the extremes and melodic death metal elements. Opening on the title track, the album doesn’t let the arrows fly just to begin with; it’s not as immediately gripping as one might wish. The album does however get progressively better as it rolls on (the same was true for the predecessor), with the best songs closing it out. Especially the last three songs on here showcase just how great the highs Dyscordia can reach; brutal riffs are interwoven with furious fretsmanship in lengthy instrumental passages and blazing solos crushing all opposition, all the while retaining a deeply emotional bond in the melodics and in the great vocal deliveries.
A few replays does let some of the earlier tracks blossom as well, but unfortunately most of the album never really becomes gripping. For example, Rage has some great vocal melodies and speedy, thrashy riffing, but never really lets the fury loose. The elements are all there, the talent is as well, but still something remains missing that I can’t quite put my finger on. There are a few great moments and a couple of really great songs - looking at that emotional fucking hacksaw Silent Tears rolling on harsh ass guitars and blazing melodic fire; why couldn’t more of the album be exactly as passionate as this? - on the album, but ultimately it just doesn’t engage like it by all means should. Being the band’s third full length to follow the same pattern and doing pretty much the same things, Delete/Rewrite proves a staggering, sometimes so-so, listen, though never an uninteresting one.
Standout tracks: The Cards Have Turned, Stranger to the Dark, Silent Tears