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androdion
Metal freak

Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:34 am
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Location: Portugal
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:21 pm 
 

So, bored out of my skull and in a melancholic mood did I come to be listening to Draconian after a long time of absence. As most of the time I've worked my way backwards, in this case from Johan's side-project Doom:VS into his main band. My focal point on the band has been Arcane Rain Fell and only now have I dared listen to another album by them. Case in point, the debut.

Now, ARF is poppy and pretty and melodramatic (sometimes even too much) but still manages to maintain a balance between the gothic and the death/doom influences creeping behind the band's music. Lisa's vocals are there but more relegated to a backing position most of the time, almost as if she wasn't the lead. At least that has been my perception of that album for some time now. Now comes Where Lovers Mourn and I'm feeling this goes way more into goth than deathy doom territory, with Lisa being much more present and the melodrama cranked up a very noticeable notch. In all honesty I haven't heard the third and fourth albums to actually make this present reasoning, so just bear with me for a second. Although from what I've read they are mostly inferior and fail to capture the same darkened aura of ARF.

Where I'm trying to get is if ARF is the shinning light in Draconian's discography, which fan's opinions and most reviews would indicate it is, but also if it's also the one and only album to focus more on the deathlier, or ghastlier, aspects of their sound while still maintaining that beautiful melancholy characteristic of them. And following that train of thought, would ARF then be the missing link towards Johan's side-project, Doom:VS?

Feel free to contribute. ;)
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lord_ghengis
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Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:31 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:06 pm 
 

Arcane Rain Fell is the only good thing they ever did, it had enough death/doom to be less pathetic than the hyper gothfaggy debut, and as you said, Lisa was more restrained in both quantity and in delivery making her presence less generically "operatic" and awful. I feel the album balanced the heaviness, melodrama, poppiness and prettiness quite nicely overall, and is likely my favourite album in its style, if not the only one I like at all.

I kinda like the first two songs on the fourth album too, not sure why, rubs my pop muscle juwt right, but otherwise that album is the only one worthwhile.
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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:16 pm 
 

I remember hearing their third album when it came out and I thought it was incredibly boring. I should probably try Arcane Rain Fell - been meaning to for years but I almost never get jonesing for that style of music. I'll have to check it sometime soon.
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raumr
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Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 7:11 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:18 pm 
 

I agree with the OP. It definitely strikes the right balance. It is definitely a death/doom record, but it has enough gothic metal elements to appeal to a wider sense of taste than a purist death/doom approach. DOOM:VS took it further into bleaker and slower territory, but it definitely felt like it built upon ARF, which is not odd considering that the man behind DOOM:VS is the main songwriter in Draconian (I think he recorded lead and rythm guitars, actually. I'll have to check the album booklet).

Lisa's role was also perfect. She only sang a few sections in each song, save the third I think, and it was not operatic or poppy, but slow and epic - perfect for doom metal.

Also, the lyrics are excellen, although the concept falls apart towards the end. It narrates Satan's fall from Heaven, his rebellion and uprising from hell. Obviously inspired by "Paradise Lost", by John Milton. However, it stops on the second-to-last song. Then it becomes more suicidal and general. On their demo-album they pursued the concept to its glorious end.

lord_ghengis wrote:
it had enough death/doom to be less pathetic than the hyper gothfaggy debut


Are you 10 years old? I actually agree with you, but it's hard not to laugh when I read that.
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lord_ghengis
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:32 pm 
 

What can I say, when I disapprove of something enough I revert to the inane tantrums of a pre teen haha.
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Paganbasque
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:30 am 
 

An awesome band which has lot a great part of inspiration in the last two albums, which sound too austere and soulless.

I will try to respect some opinions but all this shit around Where lovers mourn is difficult to understand, yes its more gothic than death-doom, but it continues to be gothic-doom metal. The only problem is the production which is a little bit weak and not very appropriate for the doomiest parts. But fuck, an album which contains such a monumental songs like "The Cry of Silence", "The Solitude" or "The Amaranth" can’t be bad, for the gods sake.

Arcane Rain Fell is an awesome cd, with in this occasion a much better production, powerful and deep which fits the music perfectly. The songs are more doom-death and they are awesome, though I miss some dynamism at times. Lisa´s voice is touching and melodramatic and I would like to listen to her more time.

But if you ask me when Draconian achieved the perfection of its sound, taking the best things from the debut and the sophomore album, I will answer mentioning their EP “The Burning Halo”. Why? Because the three new songs are just perfect, awesome doom-gothic will all the elements you can expect from this band, great riffs, awesome vocals (Lisa sings more but without too much presence) and tasteful keys (which its impossible to see in their latest records). Too band that this one was an EP with only 3 new songs, I was expecting a full record with this sound and level of inspiration, but sadly they lost it.

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androdion
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:48 am 
 

Pardon the late reply but I do live in a GMT time zone. :p

Guess I'm not the only one with this perception then according to the replies here. I actually listened to a few songs of Turning Season Within after my post and it did feel much more straightforward, and generally speaking more uptempo and heavier on the guitars. More like a typical goth metal album than anything I had heard from then, although I still need to check their last.

I never said, and I don't think anyone did as well, that WLM was a weak album. I can understand some criticism directed towards it though, since I'd also be one of those voices. It feels more unbalanced toward the Theatre Of Tradegy-isms and some songs have some chopped up transitions. "The Cry Of Silence" for instance feels a bit off when it ups the tempo and reverts back down, and no one can take from my head the awkward similarity in both name, track list positioning and format of that song. You know, "The Cry Of Mankind" comes to mind without much surprise. ;)

What's also curious is that I've never been an actual fan of Draconian, and I've only come to appreciate ARF over the past year or two. As said above, it strikes a great balance between the "beauty" and the "beast" when it comes to this kind of music, while still being mostly rooted in death/doom. I just feel like it's probably one of a kind with them since the rest of their albums don't share much of its aesthetic and sonic presentation, going more towards goth. My "missing link" remark also has to do with the timing since Johan had just written the Doom:VS demo a year before it, and would eventually release the debut a year later than ARF. Maybe that's why Draconian reverted more to goth territory, since Johan now had another vessel for his death/doom fury.

Curiously I had never thought about it till yesterday, eh. :lol:
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Kveldulfr
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 6:09 pm 
 

I love Draconian and the debut is great. The Cry of Silence is monumental! The Amaranth is also excellent and both Slumber Did and Silent Winter features great vocals from Lisa, as well as some seriously crushing riffs. If the production were to be heavier and the drumming better, I'm sure more people would like it as well.
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androdion
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:07 pm 
 

I've been listening to Turning Season Within and A Rose For The Apocalypse and they curiously sound almost if the band took "The Amaranth" and turned it into a couple of full-length albums, as devious as that may sound. They definitely stroke me a bit badly in terms of overall presentation, and even more when compared with ARF.

Shame though, I think the band had the potential to do more cool stuff in the vein of that album. :(
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raumr
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 7:11 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:14 pm 
 

I'm glad you gave all their albums a chance :) I discovered them with their first song on their 3rd, and then worked my way through their discography. I like their first, despite being "hyper gothfaggy" (I shall make that a standard phrase in my English library, replacing "gothic cheese" to describe these bands), it is alot of fun to listen to.

"The Cry of Silence" is a huge track, although I actually like the demo version better, found on Frozen Features. Arcane Rain Fell and The Burning Halo are my two favourites, although the two covers at the end of TBH prevents it from reaching as high as ARF. Their final two albums did not impress me, in fact I have only listened to A Rose for the Apocalypse ONCE from beginning to end. It lacks that edge that ARF had.
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conquer__all
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 5:49 pm
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:43 am 
 

I love this band! Their last two albums are great! If it's "Hyper-faggy" then I guess I'm a fan of Hyper-faggygoth metal!
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androdion
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:38 am 
 

I think we all gained a new popular term from this thread. :lol:
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dystopia4
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:40 am 
 

Yeah, Arcane Rain Fell is the only album I ever really listen to from these guys. It's a great album and everything else I've heard from them pales in comparison.
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Emanon
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:47 am 
 

I don't think their demo stuff (or tracks 1-6 on The Burning Halo) get enough love.
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I Am the Law
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:10 pm 
 

Emanon wrote:
I don't think their demo stuff (or tracks 1-6 on The Burning Halo) get enough love.


Agreed. Their first two demos are very well-played melodic death metal. They are nothing like the albums. I can't comment on The Burning Halo though. I want to like Draconian more but I just cannot get over the operatic female vocals. Their doom/death stuff is generally pretty good but the female vocals just ruin it for me. I haven't heard Arcane Rain Fell and I like what's being said about it here so I will give that a shot.

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lord_ghengis
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Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:31 pm
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:46 pm 
 

:lol: I'm a trendsetter.
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androdion
Metal freak

Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:34 am
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:12 pm 
 

lord_ghengis wrote:
I'm a trendsetter.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJn5yYPPb6o :ah-ha:
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Paganbasque
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:19 am 
 

dystopia4 wrote:
Yeah, Arcane Rain Fell is the only album I ever really listen to from these guys. It's a great album and everything else I've heard from them pales in comparison.


Try the new songs of The Burning Halo EP, they are fucking awesome.

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Paganbasque
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:23 am 
 

androdion wrote:
I think we all gained a new popular term from this thread. :lol:


What a terrible term, but a the same time funny. :D :D

Am I the only one who thinks that this band desperately needs a keyboard player??? Perhaps its a coincidence but when the last keyboard player left the band, Draconian started to sound much more boring (last two albums).

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androdion
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:24 am 
 

I didn't notice that about the keyboards, although it is a curious fact. I think that they would need a complete overhaul in their sound to become more appealing to me since the last two albums were basically modern b&b goth metal. But with Lisa gone and Johan releasing his wrath in the form of a new Doom:VS album, plus that adorable new singer they got, you can really see that they're not going to do such a move. Again, a shame. I'd really like for them to pursue the balance found on ARF, but alas...
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Paganbasque
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:23 am 
 

androdion wrote:
I didn't notice that about the keyboards, although it is a curious fact. I think that they would need a complete overhaul in their sound to become more appealing to me since the last two albums were basically modern b&b goth metal. But with Lisa gone and Johan releasing his wrath in the form of a new Doom:VS album, plus that adorable new singer they got, you can really see that they're not going to do such a move. Again, a shame. I'd really like for them to pursue the balance found on ARF, but alas...


Well, I dont know what to expect from the new album, but I think that Heike is a great addition, her voice is tremendously melancholic and sorrowful, with a much more intense and dark feeling than the average goth singer. So the problem is not the singer, though I miss Lisa, but the composition of the songs, they need to recover the doom-goth song structures, with more armonies and a more intense atmosphere than the last austere and souless albums.

And a good album cover would be great too. :D

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joncheetham88
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:58 am 
 

Funny, a friend and I were just discussing how damaging it can be to some bands when the band-leader gets inspired by other things and forces them into the band's sound and sends the established concept off course, rather than working those new creative muscles in a side project. A good example being the current emulation of Watain among black metal bands who previously had their own sound.

But it seems like in the case of Draconian, Anders' need to do more of a death/ doom thing actually resulted in what I would also say is Draconian's best record, and his "main" band might even have been better off had he never founded Doom: VS. If, of course, that is the case. Because it does seem like an unfortunately characteristic habit of even decent gothic metal bands to lose the plot after one or two albums anyway.

The opening song from Turning Season Within is killer though.
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androdion
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:02 am 
 

joncheetham88 wrote:
The opening song from Turning Season Within is killer though.

True. I actually dig that repetitive palm mute way too much.

One thing I haven't mentioned before, and was wondering if anyone else had noticed, is Anders' vocal approach being different on the last two albums. On ARF he uses that low bellowing roar typical of traditional death/doom, but on the later two he seems to have gone more towards a raspier and higher register, which together with the streamlined songwriting makes them sound even more standard. It seems like an awkward decision, or maybe it was completely intentional in order to keep up with the more typical gothic template.

BTW, Doom:VS isn't Anders' thing, it's Johan's. ;)
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joncheetham88
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:34 am 
 

androdion wrote:
joncheetham88 wrote:
The opening song from Turning Season Within is killer though.

True. I actually dig that repetitive palm mute way too much.

................

BTW, Doom:VS isn't Anders' thing, it's Johan's. ;)


So do I! And oops, you're right - I've always got those two Swedes mixed up.
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Nahsil
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:47 am 
 

I can't remember thinking highly of this album. I'll stick with Morgion, early MDB/Anathema etc for my death/doom with slight gothic or whatever other influences.
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