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I happened to cross path with this band, sort of, about a few years ago. Having a little bit of edge for Gothic music, I did some research on metal bands that would fish my interest. Then I stumbled upon Draconian with the magnificent Arcane Rain Fell. Since then, they had frequented my regular playlists for God knows how many times already.
With quite a hopeful anticipation of new material post Turning Season Within, A Rose for the Apocalypse was another addition to their discography. Quite a strange cover art for Draconian I should say but after taking a seat back to contemplate, it all started to make sense. The Drowning Age came forward to present some new traits that I believed would continue to evolve on Draconian later works. Anders still managed to display similar vocal style as with previous releases. Nothing new to be expected at this point. Melody was of course their mainstay, with Lisa complementing Anders vice versa. Monologue was also present on this album with Anders performed this part as if he was about to hang himself. There were some good moments on this album. Elysian Night contained riffs that might be uncommon to Draconian yet they chose to experiment with them a little bit. The vocals especially that of Lisa were nevertheless delivered gracefully which negated their own proclivity from becoming too banal and redundant. Building up the atmosphere around 3:17 toward the song, this beautiful soundscape was then embraced by even more amazing slow moments accompanied with a monologue. At least I knew this album wouldn’t truly disappoint me in some ways and it was very rewarding at that.
In my opinion, Dead World Assembly was another good track that helped to rescue this album from drowning in the murky depths of Draconian futile attempt at creating a masterpiece. Although the song itself would be interspersed with minimal use of keyboards, still Dead World Assembly was able to carry the whole picture effortlessly. Around 4:10 into the song, the brief rest was painted with a dark palette of tranquillity prior to be crushed by Anders’ vocals, drums and guitars. Just when I thought that would be the end of what made this album a worthwhile listening experience, A Phantom Dissonance greeted me with awesome acoustic passage and the ever-charming voice of Lisa. Somehow, I was quite annoyed in miniscule quantity when Anders joined in to perform his role. Ironically, the prospect of him being absent from this track might as well leave a hollow impression altogether so I would like to call this as a love – hate relationship between their vocals. While the name itself echoed unperceived dissonance, there was none that could be tracked on this song. The solace was quickly reconciled as The Quiet Storm came into being. Doom and gloom, the song’s attack was quite insignificant but its longing ambiance was something that one should not overlook.
This might be the weakest point in Draconian career. Although I tried as much to give it ample amount of appreciation, it still couldn’t match the greatness that we’ve had familiarise ourselves with. Lucky enough, the great moments on this album had somehow got me hooked to listen to it again and again. I approached this album with healthy amount of gratuitous fondness and attempted to keep my minds open all the time. They offered nothing new to a greater extent but still A Rose for the Apocalypse was somewhere between the good, the bad and the ugly. Anybody would want to give this album a warm welcome and considerable toleration for something that proved to be nothing new in contemporary watered down metal scene.