Review Summary: “I like this album” - pizzamachine
Suicidal thoughts, angels of discord, despair, love lost, the end of days - the lyrics in this album are typically Draconian. The rest of A Rose For The Apocalypse is just as predictable. There’s not much in terms of stagnation or progression here, just the same doom/gothic metal you’ve heard from them. It’s solid, but can’t touch Turning Season Within despite their attempt to duplicate its spirit. It gets close though with ‘Wall of Sighs’; it’s a gut puncher of a song, a symphony of brutality fronted by Anders, the resident growl expert - his performance in the song is outstanding, and the chorus is especially crushing. I’m also fond of ‘The Quiet Storm’ which balances sky tearing, slower riffs with bursts of speed elegantly and tops it with a bluesy feel.
Draconian have found their stride in this album but they almost rely on it too much. You’ll hear a lot of the same melodies and therefore similar guitar lines. There are some standouts like the eery riff in ‘Elysian Night’. Then there’s ‘Dead World Assembly’, which utilizes a melodic pattern on the guitar similar to ‘Last Hour of Ancient Sunlight’ but remains a great tune. I love their formula myself, but one could easily argue that all their songs sound the same. If you shuffle Draconian albums on your iPhone you’ll see why, for unless you know which songs are which, A Rose For The Apocalypse will get lost in the shuffle.
This album is great. The female vocals are wonderful, the growls are equally terrific. I enjoy every song here to some degree, even ‘End of the Rope’ which feels like a filler song. ‘The Drowning Age’ is stupidly heavy and ‘A Phantom Dissonance’ is compelling with some tricky drum beats involving ghost notes, and also a super catchy riff. Despite the samey feel in the album, there’s highlights aplenty.
There’s much to love in this composition, but I ultimately don’t feel it as much as their other albums. It’s less of an emotional journey, and more by the numbers. It’s a collection of Draconian songs. It’s a head banging good time, though not a masterpiece. Not every album needs to be a masterpiece, let’s crank up those tunes!