on 23 August 2011
I just love this band. They never fail to impress. They have their own unique style & sound - which is no easy thing to do, with so many bands around playing this kind of material. Make no mistake, this is a great album that deserves a 5 star review but . . . is it just my copy that has rediculous & pointless LP record - like pops & crackles at the beginning of tracks 5 & 8? If they're supposed to be there, in some way adding vintage flavour well, what a daft idea, it just spoils an otherwise flawless album (hence 4 stars).
However, to finish on a positive note, this is a worthy successor to "Turning Season Within". They've moved on (slightly) while retaining all of their trademark sounds. If you enjoy music that is powerful, layered & textured with well written songs all excecuted with passion & imagination in a similar vein to Tristania, Leaves Eyes etc, then you won't go far wrong with Draconian.
on 29 June 2014
For all the inroads women have made into metal in recent years there still seems to be many who see this as a novelty. And the mere presence of a female a heavy band has the group pigeon-holed into the Gothic or symphonic rock genres. While it’s true that many of the female fronted bands do fall into this category it isn’t always the case – you could hardly call Arch Enemy symphonic metal? And what or Autumn or The Gathering? Despite their roots we’re moving further away from metal, let alone small ghettoes within the genre.
But in Draconian we have a female-fronted band that does the deserve the Gothic label, but for authentic musical reasons. Harry checks out their latest beautiful and heavy album A Rose for the Apocalypse.
I’m very bored with lazy writers calling a metal band Gothic or Symphonic merely due to the presence of a female vocalist. But in this case Gothic metal is an apt description of the lovely noise created by Swedish metallers Draconian. Not, I should say, due to the presence of co-vocalist Lisa Johansson but because the band really does play Gothic doom metal of a type familiar to fans of pre-electronica Paradise Lost. I doubt there’s much of a coincidence that Draconian’s musical style is not a million miles away to the Halifax doomers’ classic album Draconian Times.
Draconian play heavy, often mid-to-low tempo, doom. There’s plenty of melody and much of the music is genuinely guitar based rather than being overpowered by the welcome – but not overwrought – keyboards. Vocal duties are shared by the gravel-voiced Anders Jacobsson and the beautiful work of Lisa Johansson. The style sticks pretty rigidly to the 90s doom metal template rather than the more symphonic stylings of bands such as Tristania or early Sirenia (you know, when Sirenia weren’t shit).
A Rose for the Apocalypse is a beautifully crafted record with strong production values. The guitars are heavy and powerful but with plenty of detail and separation. The performances by the musicians are strong without being showy and the song writing is strong. Lisa Johansson seems to have a larger role on the record compared to previous albums though this seems to be a natural result of this set of songs rather than the current move in the metal world to push female co-vocalists to the forefront.
Being a fan of strong dynamics with plenty of light and shade – something you’d expect from this style of music – A Rose for the Apocalypse is right up my street. There’s plenty of power on show in these songs yet the band aren’t afraid to strip things back for quieter sections. I particularly like the way Anders’ gruff vocals fit so well with the music – even the softer sections.
Meanwhile – being a sucker for a beautiful female voice – Johansson’s work is really lovely. It’s interesting that while Anders provides the aggression and motion in many of the songs it’s Lisa that adds the despair, melancholy and sadness one associates with the doom genre. This is one of Draconian’s greatest strengths – the use of ugliness to create power and motion, and beauty to create sadness – and I think they’ve capture it here better than their previous (albeit very strong) albums.
Johansson’s gorgeous vocals have a clear recognisable style of their own. But fans of Cristina Scabbia, Silje Wergeland, or Marjan Welman will no doubt find a new favourite here.
Of course this isn’t a cheery record, you don’t expect that with doom. But there’s enough variety of tempo and styles on A Rose for the Apocalypse to keep things moving along without the record becoming a dirge. In fact despite the record’s heaviness the most obvious adjective that comes to mind for me to describe this album is “beautiful”.
While this isn’t a particularly commercial sounding record there are enough hooks and classy performances on offer it deserves to be a bit hit in the metal market. Fans of female-fronted metal (I know, it’s a dreadful thing, we don’t say “male-fronted metal”, but you know what I mean) are likely to dig this record immediately. But even you grumpy old farts who think there are too many symphonic bands cluttering up the world of heavy music should check Draconian out. A Rose for the Apocalypse is good enough to sit on your CD shelf next to your hallowed copy of Draconian Times or The Ethereal Mirror.
on 7 July 2011
When I see the name Draconian on any new release, I see a trademark, never has a simple cd, ever looked so sculpted, with just one listen to A Rose for the Apocalypse's exciting powerful growl that fills the speakers as it emerges from the darkest places, you will never fully be prepared for the genius behind the Draconian sound. This cd has elevated this distinctive new release to its `'classic metal'' label. I am not a big fan of labels or genres, I listen to Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, MSG etc , I have been listening and buying music since 1976, the last time, I was so excited about a new release was when I was a teenager waiting for `'Holy Diver'' to be released it was everything I expected, `'A Rose for the Apocalypse'' has taken their music to a different level, the creative flair and labour behind this music is a tribute to the classics. In the modern age Draconian's songs are better and more innovative than more well known household names out there in music.
The people behind this cd have worked hard, I always like to decipher the meaning behind the lyrics and music for my own personal reasons, this is my cd. Whatever emotions I feel are mine's
You will love the twists and turns the music takes you, I loved the moments that left me open-mouthed and with goosebumps, there is layer and layer of substance and magic in the music ,the high level of detail and attention in the production is a joy to hear.
Draconian music is the synthesis of what a music literary composition should be, Anders words are written with care and power. With their meaning there is a great balance between fantasy and the painful reality of the world we live in today, without a doubt this cd is exceptional, the symbiotic partnership between the guitars and vocals is creates an emotional response from the listener,the guitars are flawless, there tone and performance is the essence of the Draconian's sound, Johan, Daniel and Fredrik deliver the `'right stuff'', there playing just flows, its impressive not overbearing, precision on the fret board each supporting each other in their roles to deliver that greater power. Jerry is focused and thankfully less-intense without losing his thunder, this is reflected in the way he knocks the crap out of the drums at times. This is the beauty of Draconian all of them directly connect to the cd.Lisa's truly beautiful voice is light and sleek. Today music is dumbed-down, record buyers are conned to spend their cash on music that is sounds like it comes from a factory, while these bands manufacture their metal, Draconian will still be using music techniques that come from the heart and soul. `'A Rose for the Apocalypse'' is art.
Draconian have their own , very distinctive sound, it's what makes their music clear and decisive.
`'A Rose for the Apocalypse'' is constructed a little different from other Draconian's cds, its a move forward and in the right direction. There is enough on the cd that is different and interesting,I won't list my favourite tracks in any order becoz that means there is weaker tracks, there is no weaker tracks.In the words of John Keats `' A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness'' says enough about this cd.
on 21 April 2013
i bought a copy of draconian-a rose for the apocalypse digipack version from ebay,as i won it in the auction,and since its arrived,i havent stopped listening to them on my mp3 player,and its become really enjoyable listerning to the band,as they have been gothic metal band wich i have heard about in the past,but ive never owned any cds my draconian,as so far,i havent been disapointed by buying this cd.
and im now going to be buying more cds my draconian.