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Diskelion - Remember Sorrow

Diskelion – CD Review
Remember Sorrow





CD Info
9 Tracks
English Lyrics

Diskelion – Remember Sorrow

Written by Eastcoaster July 2014

Diskelion - CD Review Remember Sorrow CD Info 2014 Self-Released 9 Tracks English Lyrics

As I stated in previous reviews, I admire and am fascinated when established female singers decide to start new projects, which are often different than their usual work. Remember Sorrow, the debut album by Diskelion, is one that will grab your attention from the first song to the last. Besides some excellent Symphonic Metal writing and arranging, this album brings together some outstanding instrumentalists and vocalists, who only enhance the quality of the album. The scary part is that this album almost did not happen, but I will address that situation later. Here is a case of performers who traditionally perform Medieval, Renaissance, and Classical Music; but get a chance to perform Symphonic Metal, and I must say, they take the most of this opportunity. I also want to personally thank Gaby Koss for the additional information that she provided as the album has progressed.

Diskelion, a partnership between Gaby Koss (ex-Haggard, Equilibrium, Death Army, Theatre of Night, Nota Profuna, Dominia, Cantus Lunaris,) and Tom Harris, a guitarist/keyboardist from England, had quite the interesting road to fruition. Discussion for this project, originally a solo album, actually began in 2011when Gaby was contacted by Tom who sent her a song asking if she was interested in singing it. Gaby really liked the song and encouraged him to write additional songs. Thus Diskelion was created and within a year, almost all the songs that would become the album were written and sent to Gaby. Tom wrote the music and lyrics except for “My Spirit’s Despair,” which was written by Gaby, who also did the studio and harmony arrangements at Helionstudio Munich, with help from Seref Alexander and René Berthiaume (Equilibrium).

Shortly this project was changed to a collection of duets with one other soprano, instead of the solo album. Gaby does not name this soprano and it is not really important overall except that it set back the completion of the album for several months. Due to disagreements with this person, all the work previously recorded was scrapped, and the once again, the solo project became a compilation of multiple duets between Gaby and numerous other well-known sopranos, each one well established in the music world. Gaby, a classically trained vocalist, also worked for Munich State Opera during her studies and her training is apparent throughout the album. In ways, because of her many projects and bands, most which are concurrent or future, she reminds me of VK Lynne from the US. I admire her ability to keep all her projects going and maintain the high bar of music performance. Gaby has her sights set where she wants the project to be and makes sure that her standard is attained.

Remember Sorrow, even though it is the collaboration of Gaby and Tom, who provided the keyboard and guitar parts, would not be possible if not for the multiple guest musicians, including the session instrumentalists. The session musicians, the backbone of this album, prove over and over their great musicianship. Gaby knew who she wanted and was patient enough to wait for them to be available. We are treated to some great music because of her decision. The session musicians include: Bassist - Sebastian Kister (Symbolilk), and Drummer – Manuel di Camillo (ex-Equilibrium), who lay down excellent rhythm tracks under the other instrumentalists and vocalists. Other instrumentalists are: Daniel Padron (Nota Profana, Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra) on viola and flautist Albert Dannenman (Blackmore Night, Cantus Lunaris).

The album opens with “Forgotten,” a prelude to the album content, and featuring the first of many guest vocalists. This song features Zuberoa Aznárez (Diabulus in Musica) and her addition doesn’t disappoint us. This song is in line with a rock song with a hard edge to it a very classical form. Opening with arpeggiated keyboard chords that are repeated throughout the song, we get a taste of the flavor to this song. While the broken chords are playing, there is a hint of the melody playing over this. Add a very melodic bass line and the stage is set for the vocal duet between the two sopranos. The broken chord part has a symphonic string sound added after a drum beat lead in and the guitar is added. The vocals and instruments complement each other and none are overpowering. Also Zuberoa and Gaby mesh very well together. The vocals are soaring over a very traditional rock beat by the middle of the song and a very nice, short guitar solo is added by Tom two thirds of the way to the song. What makes this song interesting to me, besides balance between the vocals and instruments, is the switching back and forth between a full instrumental accompaniment and the bare basics (keyboard and bass). The song ends fittingly with the two vocalists holding out their last notes a cappella. The words of the chorus are quite interesting and fit into the title of the song quite well:

Whispers will sail in the wind, rumours have no one to answer to
And as I’m staring through your soul, your ivory tower falls
Whispers will sail in the wind, rumours have no one to answer to
And now you know it to be true my heart will forget you

“Call My Name,” the original working title of this album, and the third song, has a slightly driving rock beat to it and it is apparent at the beginning. The whole driving drums, bass and keyboards repeat the pattern several times before abruptly ending with a staccato like four chords. With the vocals softly starting over a broken staccato drum pattern and arpeggiated strings, we hear the verse of the song. The chorus features a call and response between the two vocalists. Toward the end of the song we have an instrumental interlude with a nicely played guitar solo that isn’t overpowering but fits in well with the rest of the instruments. Because this was the original title of the album, the chorus is as follows:

Just call my name forever, please say that you’ll be there
Call my name forever, it’s now or never
Behind the mask I see your face, endlessly searching for another place

The song “Silent Voice” opens with a broken chord keyboard part that repeated and shortly joined with a very lyrical viola part played by Daniel. This song has the singer reminiscing about a person who has died. Besides the song being in triple meter, which I have not heard very often in present day music, there is throughout the song a lovely duet where the viola is treated as a vocal part and it meshes quite nicely with the soprano. Throughout the song, building with a crescendo to the end, the vocal part carries the pain and anguish of losing someone. Within the song we have a short, very expressive solo by Dan. The question asked in the end by the vocalist is, “Why did you have to die?”

“My Spirit’s Despair” is the shortest song on the album and the lyrics and music were written by Gaby. This song opens similar to the first song except that added to the keyboards is the guitar pounding out a rhythmic riff. Over this comes the vocal part and the song becomes a battle between the vocalists and instrumentalists. Midway through the song there is part where the two vocalists sing an operatic exercise soaring up and over the instruments. This is repeated later with the bass and drums underlying the voices giving a more minimalist sound. The song “Remember Sorrow,” which was chosen as the final title of the album is slightly similar to “Silent Voice” in that it has that same melancholy sound to it. The voices portray the sadness very well in the lyrics and the way they sing. Again, the viola part played by Daniel, enhances the sadness especially in the interlude where there is a back and forth melodic play between the viola and guitar. I must say, that after hearing the whole album, I believe that Diskelion made a very good choice choosing this one as their album title. The chorus says it all for me and it is:

Remember sorrow, don’t fade away, far away.
Search for tomorrow don’t dream of yesterday
I’ll show you now you can find me,
And I know that I’ll see you every time I close my eyes.
If you close your eyes, you’ll see me too

The other four songs feature guest soloists that Gaby was able to have perform and what a variety of talent. “Forever and One” features Julie Deletoile (Kosmic Vortex), a singer with opera training like Gaby. The song opens with a heavy guitar and drum beat before giving away to a quiet bell-like part right before the voices enter. The vocal parts remind me of an aria being performed except it is in duet fashion. The voices really shine here, sometimes with Julie alone and then both voices. The vocal parts are very clear and sustained. Underneath the voices, there is a switch between a driving metal sound and the opening bell-like sound. There is also a neat and different chord progression that adds a nice touch to the song. An excellent guitar part comes in that is both, a solo on the melody over the broken chords by the keyboard; power chording under the voices, and then a countermelody to the voices. This song is nicely arranged that one doesn’t realize what all is happening musically and it enhances the experience. I must say that I was not familiar with Julie’s singing but she is a nice addition to this song. The chorus:

Take me away so high on the breeze
The start of my journey beyond the seas
Forever and one in twilight I sleep
Now into the silence I fall so deep

The last song on the album is “Broken Dream,” which features Kerstin Bischof (ex-Xandria). Kerstin, I believe is the main soprano that Gaby plans to include in Diskelion’s future as a double female fronted band. If that is the case, Kerstin is a great choice. This song again plays into Kerstin’s strength as a singer, with a crystal clear voice. This song starts, with a throwback to Cantus Lunaris, in that there is a nice harpsichord solo that repeats a melodic idea. Little does one realize that this is a tease because suddenly in comes a heavy metal guitar solo with drums that bring in the voices. The voices are crisp and clear as they rise above the guitars and drums. The duet is well written and the two voices are complementary. The last part of the song has an extended guitar solo followed by a guitar duet mimicking the vocal part. The end of the song has the chorus part repeated by the ladies while underneath the instruments are skillfully forcing the beat along.

The hardest part for me was choosing my favorite song of this album. It came down to two songs, both with guest soloists, and very similar in their style which made it difficult. The two songs are “Far Away,” featuring Hanna Wagner (Saeldes Sanc) and “Cry for me,” featuring Ida Elena (Bare Infinity, Cantus Lunaris). Both songs have a driving quality to them that sets up the vocal parts very well and both combine parts in the Classical and Metal styles. That said my favorite is “Far Away” which I will explain later. “Cry for me” begins as a pure Symphonic Metal song with a strong driving, pulsating guitar, bass, and drum beat. Over this comes in Gaby and Ida with strong voices singing a lyrical melody. Between the verses, you have a repeated keyboard broken chord part played. Later about half way through the song, there is a bass solo part that becomes an ostinato pattern repeated throughout the rest of the song as it is picked up by the various instruments. This includes the guitar, the bass again, and the keyboard. Later the voices echo the pattern and one voice continues it while the other sings the melody. Throughout the rest of the song we have the heavy metal accompaniment alternating with the simpler ostinato part. I was aware of Ida’s singing from watching some videos of Bare Infinity and Cantus Lunaris. Her voice is very clear and she sustains her phrases very well, which matches Gaby’s as well. The fact that they are in Cantus Lunaris, I am sure, did not hurt the performance. The chorus lyrics are different, to say the least. They are:

Cry for me, die for me, my mortal sin
Save me, before I face a trial I can not win

This brings me to my favorite song of the album and also the longest song. This song features Hanna Wagner (Saeldes Sanc), another singer that I was not familiar with, but I am pleasantly surprised with her voice. “Far Away,” opens with a different repeated broken chord keyboard part. Added to this is a simple straight bass drum beat that builds the anticipation in the song. Over this comes in the vocal part joined by the viola playing a lovely countermelody that complements the voices. The next verse brings the driving metal sound that is common in Symphonic Metal under the voices. The voices have a “sirens of the sea” sound to them. It is almost like we are sailors being drawn hypnotically to them, that’s how effortlessly their voices sound. During the chorus there is the driving beat, the chord progression is simple, but it makes the song work so well. After the second chorus, Tom treats us to a guitar solo that isn’t overpowering but incorporates the melody and sets up the last verse. The last part of the song is very busy musically with the melody, countermelodies, and counter, countermelodies being played. The voices maintain their magical quality with crystal clear lyrics. The only surprise, to me, in the song, is the very end which was very different and I am not sure if it added or detracted from the song. There is something magical and soothing about the sea and the chorus supports that belief:

Far away, so far away I hear the ocean,
It’s calling out my name
Far away, so far away until tomorrow,
My life is mine to claim

One would have to be crazy not to add Remember Sorrow to their library especially since it is classic Symphonic Metal with some Rock. The instrumentalists and the vocalists, including the guest vocalist, add so much to this album, that it is sure to become well known in the Metal Genre. The songs are written in a Classical Rock/Metal format that the listener might not even be aware of it, and this plays into the strength of all the performers, but especially the vocalists. The arrangements provide great opportunities for both the instrumentalists and the vocalists to shine with neither really overpowering the other. Another treat from this album is hearing a Metal/Rock song in triple meter, not unheard of, but also not real common either. For a debut album, this one is a definite addition, and one should hold on for the ride and enjoy every minute of it. According to Gaby, there are plans to continue with having two vocalists for performances, and hopefully, more albums in the future. I am looking forward to hearing more from this group in the future. More information about Diskelion can be found at the following links:


9.5 / 10