REVIEW: DRACONIAN – “Sovran”
We live in the world with great competition; no matter what you do, someone will out think you, always. Genres were followed by many sub-genres and now the fusion of sub-genres is the trend. New bands keep on thinking for new ways to improve their music, some classic ones are sticking to their old style music, but what’s great is that most of the bands has their own sound, despite the fact they are similar in a way that one often gets confused between who the artist might be. But this tale will continue. With 2015 coming to end, winter has come, and Draconian with it. They may not have released half their albums in winter, but their music has definitely sent many shivers down the spine with their cold music.
Sovran is just another impeccable album by the band, but the departure of Lisa Johansson can be felt in the music. One might look back to their initial two albums ‘Where Lovers Mourn’ and ‘Arcane Rain fell’, the strongest doom metal albums of the time. But what has kept Draconian separate from other doom metal bands is their gothic touch to it by Lisa. The duet of growls by Anders Jacobsson and gothic vocals by Lisa Johansson had given complex to many bands of their field, unbeatable in their music. I don’t know where lovers mourned, but Draconian fans mourned in front of their computer screens in 2011 when Lisa departed from the band. It was like an integral part of the band left. Her successor Heike Langhans has created great buzz live, but this is where she is put to test with her debut album with Draconian, and fans have a lot of expectations from her.
Sovran is a different sort of album as compared to other Draconian works, which is nothing to worry because musicians grow with time, and so does their music. As saddened as one might feel bursting the bubble, but their music has taken a slight change. Gothic vocals are definitely gone, and it has been replaced by more melodious and lighter vocals by Heike; same goes with the overall music of the album. Though the album cannot be confined to one genre of doom metal, but it makes the major part of it, along with several other types of music fused with it.
Sovran creates a gloomy environment through the music. Fog gathered around the place as I listened to the album while travelling, pushing me into the oblivion this album creates. Describing the album song by song will make this an unending article, and I’m sure your time is precious. For when the winter comes, days are shorter and nights are longer and loner. With long album comes the responsibility of keeping the album interesting the throughout. Standing seven minutes over an hour, Sovran is a rare album and one can listen to it any time of the day regardless of his/her emotions. Strong and grudgy riffage with lyrics that’ll make you question your existence are still the charm of the album and duet vocals just make the journey sweeter. As the album passes, you get more and more lost. Accidentally, I heard the album twice when I first listened to it because I was so lost in it, I didn’t realize when it ended and started again.
Draconian has changed the path by a little turn, which worked for them. Not rocking on two boats at a time, which many artists do while they fuse new music but still keeps holding onto the roots, has worked impeccably for them. The little pieces of melody punctuating the doom are the sun rays scuttling through the dark cloud. Sovran is bound to keep you hooked for a long time.