Draconian
Arcane Rain Fell


4.0
excellent

Review

by Ethereal Space Yogurt USER (205 Reviews)
January 28th, 2008 | 58 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An excellent Doom record from Sweden's Draconian.

Doom. Sputnik's flavor of the week. Upon the growing interest in the Doom genre I came across a band from Sweden by the name of Draconian. Early in their career they played Melodic Death Metal with some Black Metal traces back when their name was Kerberos, later changing the name to Draconian with the key addition of main vocalist and lyricist, Anders Jacobsson. They had been at fault with the production of some of their early albums and drastically decided to shift their sounds cape into something slower and more dramatic yet still crushing and epic. So they abandoned their roots and expanded beyond the constraints of Doom and added Gothic elements to their music.

In 2004, Draconian released their album "Arcane Rain Fell" which expanded upon the ideas of the previous album, "Where Lovers Mourn" and took it to a new extreme. Their current sound recalls of elements from some of the genre’s elite, My Dying Bride, Anathema, as well as some of the new wave's finest such as Swallow The Sun. They have took those ideas with some fresh ones to create a refreshing sound filled with atmospheric keyboard runs, crushing riffs outlining the melodies, and deep harsh growls complementing the vocal talents of Lisa Johansson. Originality might be a little thin but Draconian execute this formula pretty well into quite an enjoyable listening pleasure.

"A Scenery Of Loss” opens the album with a serene and peaceful ambiance of rain starting to fall. Thunder begins to crash and slow guitars begin to grind as a spoken passage greets the listener before delving into the eye of the storm. The song promptly ends that way as well with a haunting piano run and rain closing out the last seconds. The guitar work is standard fare for Doom but played pretty well in between balancing the slow paced melodies with the rhythm guitar chipping away the surface with hard edged riffs. The lead guitar and the rhythm guitar on this album was played by Johan although credit is given to Magnus Bergstrom. Nonetheless, Johan is great with the guitar work. This is Doom so don’t expect any insane, technical riffs or showboating with 17 solos in 4 minutes. Solos are played to a minimum but that just makes each one much more memorable. The keyboard work is just as impressive as the vocals themselves due to playing a vital role in the band. Andreas excels in painting a dark, brooding sounds cape for the music with haunting, dramatic runs that covers the basic instrumentation with a dark veil.

Draconian has two primary vocalists providing the bulk of the work. Anders provides all the harsh vocals and not often but occasionally sings as well. Balancing the heavy with the soft we have a fairly strong and underrated singer in Lisa Johansson. Her strong angel like crooning greatly benefit’s this style music with the variety of vocal styles that are present here, without overpowering the music in the process. Heaven Laid In Tears( Angels Lament) is a great example. Anders retains the deep, crisp growls akin to Death Metal for most of the album but at times switches to a higher register although nowhere near Black Metal levels. Occasionally he sings but not for long. His voice isn’t that bad, in fact it should have been utilized more. The lyrical content touches nothing new and seems to stem towards misery and Satan being true while God is being portrayed as the false saint. The lyrics are being delivered with thought out planning and intelligence where I can forgive the cheese that they speak of. In fact, some of the lyrics come straight out of John Milton’s poem “Paradise Lost” dealing with the banishment from Eden and the fall of the human race. The lyrics might be depressing and morbid to most but I find myself curious in listening to what is being said. Unfortunately, Draconian felt the need to add spoken passages to the music thinking it would be a vital piece of the puzzle. “Expostulation” is 2 minutes of unnecessary and ridiculous cheese that should be skipped. Other than that, the vocals are pretty solid. The album redeems itself with the 15 minute epic closer "Death, Come Near Me" making up for that slight fault by encompassing all of their traits into one monster of a song.

The drum work is pretty good if not generic for this style of music. It’s not bad by any means, Jerry is technically proficient at what he does, but he just sticks to the basic template. There are some cool double bass patterns here and there, then the occasional fill to loosen things up. Bass work has it’s high marks and it’s low marks. A lot of the time it is being drowned out from the rest but in certain moments, the bass stands out with some pretty cool lines. The production on this albums captures the Doom essence of Draconian well. Everything is crisp and the vocals as well as the instruments are pretty clear. Vocals stand out without magnifying over the rest of the instruments, guitars are loud and present, drums are clear and the bass makes itself present quite often. Fans of any style of Metal should give this a run. Originality might be lacking but this is still a strong outing for a rather new Doom Metal unit who’s actually been around since 1994 but just made the change recently. Might not be ground breaking but remember this, if it ain't broke, then don't fix it.

Pros:
Vocals.
Guitar work.
Accessible.
" Death, Come Near Me".
" Heaven Laid In Tears(Angels Lament)"

Cons:
Expostulatio.
Lacking the drive to achieve something new.



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user ratings (122)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
BallsToTheWall
January 28th 2008


44805 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Probaly the longest I've ever taken to write a review. About an hour or so but it's alright.

Digging: Pink Turns Blue - If Two Worlds Kiss

combustion07
January 28th 2008


5420 Comments


Good review, I downloaded some songs by this band and they were really great, I'm going to get this soon.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 28th 2008


16478 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Awesome review, this is a very good band.

About an hour or so but it's alright.


lol you don't know long... :D

BallsToTheWall
January 28th 2008


44805 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah... I end up brainstorming a bit, put some ideas down and try to draw from that. I write as I think, basically an edited rough draft. But yeah, this band is pretty solid. More people should check them out for sure.

Poet
January 28th 2008


5935 Comments


good review, but this doesn't sound like something I would like. I just listened to A Scenery of Loss, and it's haunting, but this kind of music always gives me a dreary and gloomy vibe.

I need my power metal dammit. lol

Slaytan
January 28th 2008


1186 Comments


I only have The Burning Halo by them, and it's pretty good. Maybe I'll check this out as well. Good job BTTW.

Slaytan
January 28th 2008


1186 Comments


Also, have you heard their new stuff yet? They have a teaser on their MySpace...sounds pretty good.

BallsToTheWall
January 28th 2008


44805 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah it does. My fav is Where Lovers Mourn, Cry Of Silence and A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal are amazing. Come on Poet, enough with the go happy, dragon slaying attitude. Everyone needs some gloom.

fireaboveicebelow
January 28th 2008


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Very good review. Death come near me is fantastic, the piano part around 13 minutes is absolutely gorgeous. Very excited for the new cd too.

By the way anyone who enjoys this should check out Johan Ericson's side project Doom:VS, its way more doomy than Draconian. DAMN I love doom metal 8DThis Message Edited On 01.28.08

Poet
January 28th 2008


5935 Comments


Come on Poet, enough with the go happy, dragon slaying attitude. Everyone needs some gloom.

:lol: Melo-Death fills the need of non go happy music. I also listen to symphonic metal as well.

BallsToTheWall
January 28th 2008


44805 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You need some brutal metal dude. Hopefully melo death and sympho metal is a gateway. Check out At The Gates or Dissection at least. Ace stuff and it's not full out skull crushing.This Message Edited On 01.28.08

jrowa001
January 28th 2008


8750 Comments


i was always curious about these guys but never felt the need to look them up, but your review has convinced me otherwise

rasputin
January 29th 2008


14555 Comments


Nice review, I'm always up for more Doooooom

freudianslipknot
January 29th 2008


803 Comments


Good review, good album - although I agree that the spoken sections are pretty terrible.

BallsToTheWall
January 29th 2008


44805 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Doom is always a good choice, like a beer. Jrowa, you should check Where Lovers Mourn and this first, the most solid of the bunch in my opinion anyway.

Wizard
February 4th 2008


19641 Comments


Probably your best review so far Balls. Nicely worder and easy to read. A perfect example of a well written review if you ask me. I'm checking these guys out right now!

Not really a fan of the generic chick vocals. Good music though. Woman fronted metal bands seem to be an easy cash grab these days. This Message Edited On 02.04.08

Digging: Ash Borer - Cold of Ages

BallsToTheWall
February 4th 2008


44805 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanky you Wizard. For the most part, I enjoy female vocals but yeah, overdone indeed.

Hawks
March 11th 2008


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I dont really listen to Doom Metal that much, but i like what i've heard so far.

AngelPhoenix
March 16th 2008


2764 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah Doom is definitely not for the faint of heart, those that need instant gratification, those with short attention spans, those that like large amount of energy in their metal. And even if none of those apply to you, you still have a good chance of being (at least initially) bored with Doom. I was.
But, yeah, Balls, you notice the recent strange fascination here with Doom? lol who woulda thought.
These guys remind me of Epica if they relaxed a little bit, or Evanescence if they were, you know...still good. I rather liked Fallen but Open Door was...
Great review btw, checking this out right now.

Hawks
March 16th 2008


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah i cant really get into Doom that much. I like this band and Nortt, but anything other than that is hard to get into. I dont really know that many Doom bands either, but i heard Ahab is amazing.



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