This is the first full-length release by the Swedish doom metallers known as Draconian.
And a draconic release at that.
The line-up on this album:
Anders Jacobsson (Vocals)
Lisa Johansson (Vocals)
Johan Ericson (Lead- & Rhythm Guitars)
Magnus Bergström (Rhythm Guitars)
Thomas Jäger (Bass)
Anders Karlsson (Synthezizer & Programming)
Jerry Torstensson (Drums & Percussion)
These seven people are responsible for the massive sound on the album.
What may strike you as unusual is that they have two vocalists and one of them is female. Does this work out on a doom death release? Yes it does. I"m not a fan of female vocals (in metal) but it works out here. The nice and clear voice of the female vocalist at on part of the spectrum, the low, sorrow filled growls from Anders Jacobsson on the other end of the spectrum, besides growling he does some clean vocals as well. The contrast created by the combination of these voices is awesome. Anders is also the lyricist he writes good, meaningful lyrics, he's a poet so that explains the good flow of the lyrics. He's not just throwing around difficult words just for the sake of it, it's nice and balanced.
But of course, the vocals aren't the only thing making this a good album.
The guitars determine the sound and here I notice a change from other doom/death in the vain of My Dying Bride and early Katatonia. The leadguitar lines are so dreamy and flow very well. Packed with beautiful melodies, which aren't always sad sounding. One time the lead sounds like it was taken out of a new-age soundscape, the other time it sounds like a lead you would expect in a heavy metal ballad and after that you might hear an Middle-Eastern influenced lead. But not only the leads are so different on each track, everything is different from track to track, making a listen to this album feel like a sad journey. I think this is what makes this album so good, the mood itself, very dark and brooding is consistent. There is always this saddening wall of sound, but each song is another phase in your journey. This atmosphere is not just created by then normal instruments. Besides the guitar and keyboards, which on their own already add a lot to the sound (especially the piano outro of The Cry Of Silence) there is also violin. Now for me violin is the one instrument that can express emotion the best. Parallels between My Dying Bride are easily drawn and I must say, the parallels are there.
The sadness is even more underlined by the melancholic sound of the violin. The keyboards and violin really are the topping of this cd. They're used really well to fill out the soundscape and create a mood that is otherwise impossible to achieve.
I could go on and on, but it's really hard to describe the atmosphere of the album by just using words, so I won't bother.
This doom release is very refreshing, it doesn't rely on just a moody atmosphere, but instead incorporates elements that one wouldn't expect, while not being forced in to the song just for the sake of it. This would be a good choice for non doom fans too, cause in between the sad sound there is pure beauty as well.
The Cry Of Silence.
A Slumber did my Spirit Seal.
It Grieves My Heart.
Final rating 4,5/5