Draconian
Turning Season Within


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jorn van Schaïk USER (172 Reviews)
August 14th, 2008 | 236 replies | 19,898 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Solid gothic/doom metal all around.

9 of 9 thought this review was well written

There is great controversy using the term "gothic" to describe any sort of music type. It's loosely flung around like a shotgun term, meant as either a compliment (for the scattered and congregated followers), or a demeaning term for the poser bands that rose throughout the late 90s and early 2000s (just compare Evanescence to Bauhaus and you know what I mean.) One reviewer for my daily newspaper even used the term for our favourite Finnish love metallers HIM; describing it as something that shows the truly bad side of "gothic", and pleading the listeners interested in this substyle to go to the ever-growing Summer Darkness fest.

Well, on the fringes of gothic music, in the darker spectrum, exists a niche genre called gothic metal, and Draconian is such a band that should attract the crowds at say, your average Summer Darkness fest. It's easy to see why, too; for a first, Swedish non-blonde (though she may have dyed her hair like all these bands do) Lisa Johansson is behind the mic, one of those typical female vocalists. Draconian decided she wasn't enough, and added a "beast" vocalist to the mix, giving us that most infamous vocal due of the gothic metal scene: lovely princess vocals contrasted with dark grunts.

"Whoa, nelly!" a listener with wit will point out. "Gothic metal? Don't all these bands sound the same? I've heard more bands with female vs male vocal duets than I can stomach? What makes you think that I should check these guys out? After all there's so much music from Sweden, and I can think of more interesting things to do with my time!"
Well, 'lo and behold, because these cats don't sound like Within Temptation. Draconian's musical element has more in common with bands like Katatonia, Opeth and Swallow the Sun than chickflingster bands like Evanescence, making this the real deal; these are riffs, these are melodies, these are doomy lyrics to these ears. It's like someone took the gothic stereotype vocals, but fitted them over a doom/death metal band; it's like My Dying Bride, with Aaron Stainthorpe being replaced by two vocalists and the band playing at a tempo that isn't nearing the speed of your grandmother on the highway in an old Fiat.

Of course, there are annoying things about this record. One is the spoken word sections, which don't add anything, except if you're a devout Novembers Doom fan and really want to hear Paul Kuhr speak (and if you are a ND fan, you probably have this album anyway and don't need to read the review.) The second is a useless outro, which if possible is worse than the useless intros people tag onto albums these days: we want to hear a song, not a minute of piano tinkering with spoken word vocals. It's not musical, it's not experimental, and for the last time, it's not interesting. Not when Opeth does it, not when Dream Theater does it, not if ***ing Trent Reznor did it, and it's not interesting when Draconian does it, either.

Lucky all else on this record are 8 good solid songs of moody metal goodness, as Draconian's lyrical songwriting is up to par, with Lisa and Anders trading vocals often (and Anders' growls are pleasing to these ears.) And all the gothic metal women are just gonna love the lyrics, which fit the exact mould of what you would expect; it's darkness, gloominess, and moodiness. Plus who doesn't love a sugary chorus sung by Lisa that runs "I know I'm alive / But not breathing / And you know how I tried / Please believe me", with those slow, typical guitar lines in the background; it's almost like Katatonia got a grunter again!

2008 may already be far underway, but I've been listening to this since March, and clearly this record is not intent on prying itself out of my cd player just yet. Draconian may not be the plat du jour of the gothic metal troupe, but they're solid all around, and this new record doesn't seem to disappoint me. And I'm not the biggest aficionado of the style around, so I'm pretty sure fans will eat this up massively; in the meanwhile, get your kid goth sisters and brothers out of their Evanescence and My Chemical Romance phase and have them try out the real deal instead. Then at least if they'll try to angst their way out of their lives, their soundtrack might just be more genuine.



Recent reviews by this author
Frank Turner Tape Deck HeartBrand New The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me
Metallica MetallicaSlayer World Painted Blood
Katatonia Night Is the New DayRammstein Liebe Ist Für Alle Da
user ratings (128)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Altmer
August 14th 2008



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Review tends more to 4, personal opinion more to 3.5, but a very good record for the style anyway.

BallsToTheWall
August 14th 2008



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Best draconian album in my opinion although the closing track was underwhelming. What I love most is the guitar tone. It's much heavier and melodic at the same time surpassing previous records. Lisa's best performance without a doubt, and Anders has one of my favorite harsh vocal styles in doom and metal otherwise. I was upset when mine came down so glad to see another review of this. Nice review.

Altmer
August 14th 2008



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

closing track is stupid

fireaboveicebelow
August 14th 2008



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I could've sworn there was a review for this already...


good job

Altmer
August 14th 2008



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it went down with the crash

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
August 14th 2008



16242 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review Altmer, although this band is sorta up and down with me.

Hawks
August 14th 2008



34221 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Havent heard this yet, but I really need to. Draconian rules.

Digging: Manners - Pale Blue Light

Shattered_Future
August 14th 2008



1539 Comments


Great record. Best the group has done.

I just realized that I lost all of my Draconian. Must redownload at some point in the future.

Only thing I didn't like about the review was the fact that you referred to the band as "cats". Draconian are not nearly cool enough OR jazz enough to be referred to as "cats." Apart from that, well done.

Pebster49
August 15th 2008



2991 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I aggree with Shattered, this was very impressive for this band. though Where Lovers Mourn was pretty killer too

Altmer
August 15th 2008



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Only thing I didn't like about the review was the fact that you referred to the band as "cats". Draconian are not nearly cool enough OR jazz enough to be referred to as "cats." Apart from that, well done.


Well you're right, it's 5 cats and a pussy.

Shattered_Future
August 15th 2008



1539 Comments


But the phrase cats shouldn't be used for anyone outside of the shaved head/sunglasses indoors jazz dudes.

Altmer
August 15th 2008



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I call people cats when I want to >

BallsToTheWall
August 26th 2008



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm seriously considering upping this to 4.5. Not only Draconians best album but one of my top 5 metal albums of the year. The riffs are incredible and so much stronger than past releases yet still the atmosphere is bleak is hell and contains one of the best beauty and the beast performances i've ever heard.

Willie
Moderator
August 26th 2008



15875 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I thought Balls reviewed this; oh well. This is easily Draconian's best album, and also the best since their debut album.

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

BallsToTheWall
August 26th 2008



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I did but got deleted but I will up this after all. Can't get enough of this but meh, I though Arcane was their sexiest album up to this point.

Willie
Moderator
August 26th 2008



15875 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Arcane is better than The Burning Halo, but that's because The Burning Halo is kind of cheesy and boring.

Altmer
September 4th 2008



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

who negged this review

BallsToTheWall
September 4th 2008



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

A ghost. It's happened to the best of us. Already posd though.

Willie
Moderator
October 8th 2008



15875 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I was listening to this today on the way to work and it just keeps growing on me, and now I have to raise my rating again.

fireaboveicebelow
October 8th 2008



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

wow I never expected you to rate a doom record a 5



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy