Oct 27

Draconian – SOVRAN (2015)

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Draconian is one of the few bands that had keep their musical style constant since they formed back in 1994. The gothic /doom metal scene had its peak in the late 90’s and slowly started to decrease and transform in the early 2000’s. The whole concept of the beauty & the beast vocals changed for some bands, and it meant the end for others. Yet Draconian stood up against time and changes making great music with each album they released.

SOVRAN is their 5th studio album, and the début album for Heike Langhans as their new vocalist. The album carries the most dark and seducing sound of the 90’s gothic/doom scene. The back and forth dialogues between Anders and Heike in each of the songs pulls you in more and more deep into the album. SOVRAN opens with Heavy Lies The Crown, a song with a drowning doomy intro and deliver us the first taste of Heike‘s angelic voice, then the song itself will sink you into its very own old school gothic/doom style, just to drag you back out by Anders‘s furious vocals.

The Wretched Tide has a more symphonic approach which makes it a more dark and emotional song, the melodic guitar parts are quite deep, and just gloomy as hell. No doubt, its one of my favorite songs within the album. The album continuous with Pale Tortured Blue, a more straight forward 90’s song that reminiscences the Velvet Darkness They Fear album by Theater Of Tragedy, A great combination of symphonic arrangements and metal. Heike‘s vocals are so emotional & dark, and the pain through the song is so vivid via Anders‘s vocals. Stellar Tombs is one of the fastest songs on the album that changes the pace of it to a more dense style, still heavy yet the song itself is somber and powerful from beginning to end.

No Lonelier Star is a powerful song that plays with somber melodies, you can for a moment taste the Paradise Lost/Type O Negative influences of the band. Really old school, really beautiful. Dusk Mariner has similarities with their previous release A Rose For The Apocalypse, even the ballad style of the song has a slow and dark kinda of bluesy style. Again Heike‘s vocals are so full of beauty, but with a load of sorrow and pain added to them. Dishearten, is a singular song along the lines of the modern gothic approach, and even a bit of Katatonia here and there (I blame the guitars and drums on this one). Definitely not like the rest of the album, but somehow it fits rather well with the rest of it.

Rivers Between Us  which features special guest  Daniel Änghede of Crippled Black Phoenix on vocals, this song has amazing melodic clean vocals, Heike and Daniel complement each other rather well, and the emotional vibe of the song is just so intense. This is another song that has that modern gothic style that fits the album perfectly. The album closes with the longest song The Marriage of Attaris a pure and powerful rendition of gothic/doom music with an interesting and catchy melody along the song.

SOVRAN is indeed the darkest and most emotional album that I have listen to this year, Draconian still at the top as the kings of gothic/doom metal, and a band that keeps pouring their heart and soul into making the darkest and more melancholic music without any compromise. What else we can say about Heike‘s debut more than, she channels the darkness, the emotion, and the sorrow in each song. She understands and feels what Draconian‘s music is all about.

5 out of 5 Rating: ★★★★★

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Tracklist:

1. Heavy Lies the Crown
2. The Wretched Tide
3. Pale Tortured Blue
4. Stellar Tombs
5. No Lonelier Star
6. Dusk Mariner
7. Dishearten
8. Rivers Between Us (featuring Daniel Änghede – Crippled Black Phoenix on Vocals)
9. The Marriage of Attaris

Genre: Gothic/Doom Metal

Record Label: Napalm Records

Playing Time: 67 minutes

Line up:

Anders Jacobsson – Vocals
Johan Ericsson – Guitar
Daniel Arvidsson – Guitar
Jerry Torstensson – Drums
Fredrik Johansson – Bass
Heike Langhans – Vocals

Links:

draconian.se
facebook.com/draconianofficial
twitter.com/draconianhorde
instagram.com/draconian_official

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