Foto: Press

The grey garden of withering roses

Artist: Draconian

Album: Sovran

Record Label: Napalm Records

Rating: 5/6

A noticeable, yet not too dramatic, change in the musical style of Draconian was evident when they moved on from their second album “Arcane Rain Fell” to their third: “Turning Season Within”. Their sound became much stronger and the dry atmosphere gave way to a degree of dampness. To those who missed the old style of Draconian – congratulations!

The atmosphere of “Sovran” feels more like the old style than the recent one, nonetheless it is still quite different from any other Draconian album released so far. If I had to draw a comparison between this album and another, I would suggest that the compilation album “The Burning Halo” resembles “Sovran” most. Considering “The Burning Halo” comprised remade versions of songs produced before Draconian released their official debut album, it can be assumed that the band actually tried to pursue their old style through this album.

The first track, “Heavy Lies the Crown”, might not be considered a strong opening song, but it softly invites the listeners in, foreshadowing the general atmosphere of the album. The tension increases with the next track “The Wretched Tide” and explodes in the subsequent “Pale Tortured Blue”, with Heike’s cry piercing through the air. Though the next three tracks feel quite languid and exhausting after this explosion, the angst again arises and seizes the air with “Dishearten”. The most sentimental song of the album, “Rivers Between Us”, follows before the album comes to an end with “The Marriage of Attaris”, a song of fatigue.

“Sovran” by far presents us with the most depressing sound of all the Draconian albums. It is dry, it is bottomless, it is bleak. The new vocalist Heike Langhans’ voice feels somewhat sharper and fragile than Lisa’s, so it works well with the dryness and sense of desperation of this album. So, come into this grey garden and pick the withering roses.


Text: Yeonwoo Baik