The Great Discord

Valby Hallen, Copenhagen - 2017

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

The Great Discord was something new to me, new and wholly unexpected. One thing was that I had never heard about this Swedish band, another was that I hadn’t heard about them in connection with this show. The fact that they were the first support band hadn’t been announced anywhere that I had seen, but now they were here, and so were we.

The visual style of the band was what hit me the first. Here we had a group of four well-dressed young men playing the instruments, nothing to call attention to themselves in any special way. Then we had Fia Kempe, the vocalist. She was wearing a skin-tight outfit, a bald head as far as I could see, white or pale painted face, and a huge feather arrangement on her head and shoulders.
This focus point was doubled in the performance, where again the musicians stood quite anonymously, but grooving slightly to the music, whereas Kempe had a whole range of motions and bizarre dance moves to go through. I’m pretty sure any form of underlying meaning was lost on me, but in some weird sense, it was captivating. Like the subtle swaying motion of a cobra – you know you should get away, but you just can’t take your eyes off it.

Sadly, that likeness sort of goes for the show as a whole as well.
To say that The Great Discord was bad would be doing them wrong. Even calling the show boring would be lying in a sense. The problem was that I felt completely indifferent to the band. Aside from an interesting oddity, The Great Discord offered nothing new or memorable, nothing to warrant a closer look at what they might have to offer.
Kempe, who in some short phrases in her singing reminded me of Maria Sjöholm (Drain, a.k.a. Drain STH), didn’t speak a word between songs. This would probably have been a good idea, both to introduce the band and the songs to an audience who mostly, like me, had never heard about them before. A quick thank you and a picture from her phone while the band was still playing the end of their last song was all we got. Who knows, maybe they were pressed for time? If that was the case, I’d suggest striking a song, just to get a bit of audience interaction going.

If after reading this, you are as confused about The Great Discord’s appearance as I was, some answer may have been found when checking out the members of this group. You see, drummer Aksel Holmgren is stated to be an ex-member of Ghost, and Kempe has provided guest vocals for that same band, as well as for Magna Carta Cartel, a former band of Tobias ‘Papa Emeritus III’ Forge. A nice little link there.

The Great Discord

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