Discern - Revive & Rebuke (independent) 1998
Catchy death metal that has all the elements that are essential to death metal, i.e. growls, blast beats, down tuned guitars. What they also have, however, are a sense of melody and they know how to write some catchy rhythms. A couple songs mix in some blues guitar parts as well. Coolest part of the disc, however, is the "Outro" which includes a portion of Kiss' "She."
Discern - To Praise with Persecution (independent) 2007
1. "Intro (Ode to
Schuldiner)" [instrumental] (3:03)
It's been a long time since I have heard the name Discern. I had assumed that this band had disappeared many years ago. However, after nearly a decade since their debut, "To Praise with Persecution" shows up in my mailbox for review. Discern is the one man band of ex-Oblation drummer Billy Fraser, who plays all the instruments on this CD except for a few guitar solos.
"To Praise with Persecution" starts of with an awesome, thrashing, musical introduction, that had me instantly excited about this CD. However, this Ode to Schuldiner is quite different from the sludgy, down-tuned, death metal that follows. The music is comprised of deep, dark, and menacing death metal vocals, fast blast beats, and heavily distorted guitars. Thankfully Discern don't have even the slightest trace of 'metalcore' in their repertoire. Rather Discern are pure, old school death metal. Fans of early Carcass, Deicide, Obituary, Crimson Thorn, etc should find plenty to like here. However, while Discern offer plenty of speed and crushing heaviness, they also know how to mix things up to keep the songs interesting. "Second Death Honestly" starts off as your typical, chaotic death metal piece but adds in a bit of the blues, which is certainly odd for this style of music. However, as odd as it is, it succeeds in making the song far more interesting than the pure, blast beat assault of many of the more straight forward metal songs. "Your Choice" brings some doom into the mix. while "One Flesh" has a mosh groove in the middle of the song taken straight out of the Thrash Metal 101 Textbook. "The Annointing" is a furious guitar instrumental that has a feel similar to Van Halen's "Eruption" or one of the many Rex Carroll/Whitecross instrumentals, only played at a much faster speed. Imagine taking a song like "Eruption" and playing it on a turntable at the wrong speed and you might get an idea of the velocity of the soloing here. The album ends with another with a medley of riffs, one of which I immediately recognized as a Kiss riff ("C'mon and Love Me"). (Billy Fraser is a big 'ol Kiss fanboy like myself.)
yrically, Discern take a total opposite direction than what one would expect of a band that sounded this heavy and dark. Discern's lyrics are all based on Christian faith and living a Christian life.