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Draconian – Sovran


It’s been four seemingly long years since Draconian last graced us all with their gloomy post-apocalyptic presence. Let’s not be too hasty in hailing their return however-“A Rose for the Apocalypse”, if anything, heralded the slight downfall of creativity in the band’s otherwise engaging doom-laden material. Unfortunately, latest album “Sovran” continues this descent into blandness and turns out to be a real disappointment in the wake of comeback albums which are so much better.

Indeed, “Sovran” consistently gives you the impression that Draconian aren’t even trying anymore. You only have to listen to the first four tracks of the album to swiftly realize that creativity and originality has gone out of the window, and what’s replaced this is, well, nothing at all really. Opener ‘Heavy Lies the Crown’ relies on a one-dimensional main riff throughout its six-minute runtime, ‘The Wretched Tide’ relies on soft yet dull female vocal delivery and ‘Pale Tortured Blue’ is just too sorrowful for those who want something more upbeat. There just seems to be a crack in the songwriting process somewhere-a little bit of gusto which here is all too lacking. Even when the guitar-laden parts are separated from the rest of the musicianship, there’s nothing to remember as spectacular or adventurous-it’s simplistic but in much the same way uneventful.

Then comes along ‘No Lonelier Star’, by far the definitive album highlight. Just when you expect the album to continue with the same over-churned melodies and atmospheres, this song hits you with some vigour in all the right ways. The sweeping violin melancholia, the excellent balance between harsh and clean vocals (offered by both vocalists thankfully) and the sometimes crushing heaviness offer such delights that the album’s first half was sorely missing. It seems that the album’s placement of the best tracks-closer ‘The Marriage of Attaris’ is another solid doom tune, of course-are too few and far between, but when they appear, the listener is glad.

However, with that said, “Sovran” simply amounts to nothing more than an average comparison to Draconian’s better works. Even “A Rose for the Apocalypse” had its distinctively memorable moments, whereas “Sovran” has virtually none. The best tracks-the two aforementioned eight-minute epics-are excellent on their own, but could well have been served on an EP all of their own. The remainder of the album is basically Draconian going through a hard slog of motionless performance, which definitely lacks any form of originality or creativity. Let’s hope that in future the band regains some sense of passion or power, because here there is virtually none.

2.6/5

Released: October 30th, 2015

  1. Heavy Lies the Crown
  2. The Wretched Tide
  3. Pale Tortured Blue
  4. Stellar Tombs
  5. No Lonelier Star
  6. Dusk Mariner
  7. Dishearten
  8. Rivers Between Us
  9. The Marriage of Attaris

Facebook/Bandpage: https://www.facebook.com/draconianofficial/?fref=ts

2 Comments on Draconian – Sovran

  1. Jesus! Did you even listen to the right album??

    Like

    • I’m sure we got it right, no? I mean album tagging is so troublesome these days – you download an album and [presto] it’s all there; album name, track titles, song duration….

      Like

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