I press play and a sudden wash of gloom comes over me…
I’m embarrassed to say that before 2014 I had only known of DRACONIAN’s existence, but hadn’t really listened to their music. Yes, I know, how can I admit that and still think myself a goth?! Outrageous!
Fortunately, the legendary Swedish band played Metal Female Voices Fest in 2014 and I had the pleasure of seeing them live, and on top of that it was one of their first performances with new female singer Heike Langhans. And they nailed it! Have been fangirling out to DRACONIAN ever since.
That said, I had somewhat high expectations for “Sovran” – and I’m probably not the only one, since four years have passed after the band’s last release and also this being the first album with Langhans. These expectations, my friends, were not disappointed. I press play and a sudden wash of gloom comes over me, turning everything around me dark, in the most beautiful way.
… turning everything around me dark, in the most beautiful way.
The music is wickedly catchy, full of power and variation, even though the style is pretty solid DRACONIAN throughout the 10 over-6-minute-long tracks. It’s the perfect mix of heavy riffs, instrumental melodies and the contrasting vocal styles, both entailing so much emotion. While Anders Jacobsson’s grunting (with impressive diction – I must say) feels like a strong punch, his voice also carries a deep-rooted pain. On the other hand, front woman Heike’s seemingly effortless, clear soft singing style conveys a kind of hidden sadness, as if she struggled to keep her composure. Both voices blend with enchanting elegance, making the whole album darkly melancholic and superb.
Can´t get out of my head: ‘Heavy Lies the Crown’, ‘Pale Tortured Blue’ and ‘Rivers Between Us’ (love the clean male guest vocals).
01. Heavy Lies the Crown
02. The Wretched Tide
03. Pale Tortured Blue
04. Stellar Tombs
05. No Lonelier Star
06. Dusk Mariner
08. Rivers Between Us (feat. Daniel Änghede)
09. The Marriage of Attaris
10. With Love and Defiance (Bonus Track)
Watch our interview with Heike Langhans!