ALBUM REVIEW: The Rabbit Hole – The Great Discord

The Swedish rock/metal/prog outfit THE GREAT DISCORD have brought forth their new album, The Rabbit Hole. Their 2015 debut, Duende, brought the band a surge of popularity and landed them tours with the likes of KATATONIA and GHOST, with vocalist Fia taking on a persona to aid the concepts behind their albums. The Rabbit Hole is a whole new story, focused on their twisted vision of the classic Alice In Wonderland, in which a persona named Ire drags Fia down on a journey of madness and discovery. We gave The Rabbit Hole a spin to see how the band have progressed since Duende, and whether the concept compliments the music.

Dimman, and eerie choir-like introduction, opens the record before leading into the first track of The Rabbit Hole, Noire. Immediately you can see that THE GREAT DISCORD have spent a lot of time developing their sound and finding themselves further through their music, and the addition of writing contributions from their newest members, André, Gustav, and Rasmus, have only aided this part of the process. Fia’s vocal range is exquisite, and compliments the primarily progressive nature of the band. Gadget is a perfect example of this. Fast-paced guitar from André and Gustav provide the catchy background for Fia’s infectious vocals that complement the madness of the story behind it as described in our interview with her.

What makes THE GREAT DISCORD quite the special band is their ability to evoke a number of different emotions throughout the course of The Rabbit Hole. While the record takes a more chaotic path towards the start and end of the album, Neon Dreaming is a completely different story. Covering the feelings of being lost and the need to break out of negative situations, it’s a very different feeling to the majority of the album and is a very gripping and emotional track. Knowing that Fia recorded the song in one take adds an extra feeling of authenticity to Neon Dreaming, and makes it one of the most powerful tracks off The Rabbit Hole.

The record also descends further into darkness, with tracks such as The Red Rabbit giving off a more malevolent and sinister vibe with Fia’s slow vocals and toned-down guitar making it stand out as another of the record’s strongest tracks. The third single released prior to the actual record’s release date, Omen, really shows off Fia’s vocal abilities, and makes a very strong case for her being one of the best vocalists in metal today. Behind almost ethereal guitars before the chorus explodes in an arguably uplifting nature, it’s one of the most varied tracks on the record. A guest solo from PERHIPHERY guitarist Mark Holcomb finishes off the track beautifully. Finishing the album off and closing the concept of Fia and Ire’s journey in Persona ties up the record beautifully and shows the incredible writing abilities of this band. To pull a concept off from start to finish, that actually takes you on a journey of exploration that is open to all kinds of interpretation, is something quite special and hard to pull off, but THE GREAT DISCORD have managed to do it beautifully.

THE GREAT DISCORD have descended into madness with The Rabbit Hole. Offering a generally more in-your-face vibe and a more gripping background to each track, it’s truly an album you can sink yourself into and get lost within. Each song is very different from the next, and allow for thought-provoking concepts and messages. A mixture of chaos, sadness, and love mixed together in a blend of pop, metal, and prog keeps you entranced throughout, and one listen isn’t enough to find all the nuances and little moments that make this record shine. Tie that in with the story of Fia and Ire, and you have one of the most interesting listens of this year. If THE GREAT DISCORD continue on this upwards trajectory, and we could be seeing them going to bigger and better places a lot sooner than you’d think.

Rating: 10/10

The Rabbit Hole - The Great Discord

The Rabbit Hole is out now via The Sign Records.

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