Epic. That is the word that first springs to mind during the first track from “A Rose for the Apocalypse” the latest from Draconian. Vast, sprawling textures…Epic. Which should not be confused with the epic genre of power metal; Draconian, if I may attach labels, is more of a gothic doom metal. I mean epic in the literal sense of majestic and impressively great.
It is immediately discernible that Draconian’s sound has matured and if possible even improved since their last album, “Turning Season Within.” I hate to compare Draconian to another band, but this very much reminds me of the spectacular new November’s Doom album “Aphotic”, only on an even more massive scale. And “Aphotic” is pretty massive already. “A Rose for the Apocalypse” is like a black hole of metal, it is so massive it could begin attracting moons and other celestial objects, drawing them into it’s inescapable dark embrace.
Am I sounding a bit overly dramatic? If so, I’m sorry, I can’t help myself when confronted with music of this caliber. This is the kind of metal that speaks to me on a level that doesn’t use words. It’s primal. This is why I listen to heavy metal music, to feel the passion created by music such as this.
The fury of Anders Jacobsson’s harsh vocals is tempered by the sweet forlorn vocal melodies of Lisa Johansson. This is a case of beauty and the beast if I ever heard one. The music is masterfully recorded and a perfect complement to the pair of voices. I love that the harsh vocals stand apart from the music and do not get lost in all the other parts. This can be a problem with vocals that deep, but it is not an issue here.
This album has a warmer more personal feel than the last album. “Turning Season Within” had a colder more sterile feeling (which was a good thing in case you were wondering) while “A Rose for the Apocalypse” sounds like maybe it just came in from that cold and is regaling us with its tales in front of the raging fireplace while enjoying a cup of spiced wine.
What more can I say? I’m absolutely in love with this album. I can’t wait to get to the end so I can start it all over again. You should own this album and play it daily. Required listening in my metal 101 class.