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One of the best Serbian metal albums of all time - 100%

Gornot, January 5th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2004, CD, Rock Express Records

It's a damn shame so few Serbian bands (if any, really) eventually break out of the confines of local fame, because back in 2004 Draconic had all the means to achieve greatness. Starting off as a personal project of Antares, Draconic blended melodic black metal with industrial elements to create something drastically different and unique compared to the overwhelming number of more traditional bands on the Serbian black metal scene. Backed up, among others, by the Branković brothers (Alogia, Psychoparadox) who are considered one of the best metal musicians in the area, this project had a lot of potential (despite multiple problems arising during the few gigs they held back in the day), and we get to witness this on the "band's" debut album "Conflux".

Those more astute might have guessed that this album sounds like all the instruments were simply recorded on top of already existing keyboard structures and all the elements they entail - and you would be absolutely right, though I would argue that, depending on the way you look at it, it either doesn't show throughout the album (until the very end) or that it simply doesn't matter because all the instruments still do their part properly and provide a vast expansive soundscape that shapes this amazing album.

The leading intro very intensely builds up suspence for two minutes only to disruptively explode into "Stormillennium", blasting an awesome melody into your ears to make them bleed in all the best of ways. It all quickly stops for a short keybord part, leaving you wondering what the hell you just heard until the song picks up again after a few seconds and continues in a very strong fashion.

I still consider Damir "Procyon" Adžić one of the greatest fucking drummers in the world, having seen him with multiple bands on dozens and dozens of gigs - he can achieve some great tempos while simultaneously making it look so fucking easy! The drums do sound a bit iffy at times, with cymbals being drowned out of the mix by everything else that's going on, but overall they sound fucking perfect for an album packed with industrial elements. "Cosmic Connections" and "Solaris" are somewhat slower paced songs that feature a more prominent guest female vocal, and although I sometimes skip these two songs, they are still very much enjoyable. "Exordium" is, believe it or not, the only song with an actual electronic beat, but it is sparsely used and doesn't feel either out of place or particularly disruptive to the entire song formation. I do have to say that I am not really a fan of Antares' vocals, but once again, considering the overall production and theme of this album, I don't really mind them.

It is only when the closing track "Zero-Gravity" kicks in that one realizes just how much have Antares and the rest of the lineup achieved on this release, considering that it is a piano-only track with next to no other elements in it. It is certainly unfortunate that Draconic could not find a way to make this a full-featured song, as it leaves a lot to be desired once it ends.

Now, honestly, I rarely give a 100% rating on anything, but knowing the history of this album, the "band" and project behind it, and all the ups and downs that culminated into "Conflux" makes it one of my top favorite albums of all time, and even if you dislike the industrial metal scene you should definitely give this a listen, as it is the only release in this curious and particular style, being later ditched for a bombastic metalcore approach with a new lineup in the later years.

Mature, modern, fresh black metal - 78%

makaze, October 2nd, 2004

Draconic is a project of Antares (Consecration, Interfector), and the lineup was complete and recording was done together with help of Brankovic brothers (Alogia, Psychoparadox). Now the band features very different, but full lineup (only Antares left of the original lineup). Their music could be described as a mix of melodic black metal and cyber metal, sounding like The Kovenant, Dimmu Borgir, ...And Oceans, Borknagar. "Conflux", their debut album was recorded in Paradox studio and consists of 8 songs and over 40 minutes of total playtime. My favorites off the album are "Jupiter's Ceremony" with great female vocals and keyboard arrangements; "Stormillennium", filled with cyber metal atmosphere, atmospheric guitar riffs and progressive drumming; and "Cosmic Connections" with much more smoother atmosphere and crazy vocals. Talking about production, it's very good indeed, all instruments are crystal clear (this is maybe the best black production from one Serbia-Montenegro band), but drums sound synthetic sometimes, and keyboards could be a little bit louder. The conclusion: this is mature album, modern, with really fresh metal sound. "Conflux" will definitely find it's way to the fans of melodic black metal. I have a feeling that the next album will be awesome.