WORDS: Robert Bieganski
It’s nearly the end of 2015 and there have been some amazing albums released, but, let’s talk about DRACONIAN’s new release, Sovran. The whole album is beautifully composed and the past four years from the last album, A Rose for the Apocalypse, were well spent.
The album shows the amazing skills of the musicians, as well as the new female voice that came in 2012, Heike Langhans. And she is holding up to the standard of the vocals that Lisa Johansson set for DRACONIAN. The new album, Sovran, is quite possibly the best release from them up to date, even though the sound of the band did not change and is similar. Comparable to the previous albums, it brings a fresh, new feel to their repertoire, making this album stand out, with each song being a gem of its own.
Heavy Lies the Crown, starts the album and sets the mood for the rest quite nicely, really no need to ask more from this song, it simply gets you going. Taking you to the next song, The Wretched Tide, which is heavier and has more life, but yet between the courses, it’s slower. When the track finishes, Pale Tortured Blue opens, and it feels right. It’s less energetic, doomier, but it fits just after the last song. It’s like a journey from one song to another and that is what the album does through the whole time it is played. It is like over one hour of one song that has been divided into its own chapters.
Stellar Tombs hits off with even more energy and beautiful vocals, quite possibly the strongest song on the album, even though the rest of the songs don’t fall behind practically at all. No Lonelier Star follows similar patterns, the song, like the others, is very powerful even though the tempo is slower, you just head bang through it, in the rhythm.
Dusk Mariner has similar power in sound as the other songs, mainly when the male vocalist sings, as there are more lines sang by him, at this point you will get what the whole album is about, sound wise. As pointed out before the songs are joined together, Dusk Mariner fades away and fades into Dishearten which is yet another good track. With atmospheric sounds and awesome vocals between Anders Jacobsson and Heike Langhans.
Rivers Between Us is another beautiful piece of music in the album, even though there is a part of a guy from a TV talking, but, it’s quickly forgotten in the sounds of the guitars and steady beat of drums, keeping one shuffling side to side to the song.
The Marriage of Attaris is a track to finish the while album and leave memorable sounds in your head in between the slower parts. A way of saying goodbye, in a way that you want to go back to the beginning and go through the whole experience again. Like an amazing book you would like to re-read, this album is one to be re-listened many times.
The whole album just has so much energy, in a doomy, atmospheric, mellow and melodic way. Each song offers something different and yet they are part of a whole. Everything comes together really nice and it’s difficult to stop listening to it again and again. DRACONIAN have come out with the album that could be part of the highlights for this year.
Sovran is out now via Napalm Records.