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On disc: Draconian

A Rose For The Apocalypse - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars

A Rose For The Apocalypse

A Rose For The Apocalypse
(Napalm Records - 2011)

Founded in the mid-90's Draconian had enough time to develop their own sound, and they did - even if some passages have similarities. Their 3rd album Turning Season Within was released in 2008 and now the Swedish outfit is presenting the follow up.

They head into A Rose For The Apocalypse with the 7+ minutes long The Drowning Age, a doomy gothic tune which first presents Anders Jacobsson's growls, but later his counterpart Lisa Johansson joins in. Andreas Karlsson's keyboard is giving the song it's atmosphere while the almost minimalistic riffs remind me a bit of Paradise Lost (Draconian Times era)... And the similarities to the Bradford boys get bigger when they speed up a bit. The opening passage of The Last Hour Ancient Sunlight reminds me slightly of old Lacuna Coil, even if the Milanese sound a bit different... It's mainly Lisa's vocals. At End Of The Rope they change a bit and it seems that the song is showing a new facet of Draconian. The melody of Elysian Night is dark, melancholy and haunting. After the beautiful Elysian Night they get heavier with Deadlight, a track were the guitar melody is quite memorable. The second half of the album offers some good songs, but I adding a bit variety would have make it more interesting. But you won't find any fillers. At The Quiet Storm they partly use an effect on Lisa's vocals, it sounds almost like an old vinyl recording. Cool idea. The Death Of Hours starts slow but bombastic. When they speed up a bit the guitar is dominating, a memorable melody line which continues but steps back when Lisa and Anders join in. I really like the spoken word part of Anders and the guitar lead afterwards, unfortunately here the song ends. It would have been interesting to hear them continue the guitar passage. The closer is called Wall Of Sighs, again a bit heavier, even if not varying much in speed. to be honest I wouldn't have choose this one as a closer, coz - at least to me - it has nothing memorable...

Some might miss variety or more unique moments, but instead of complaining, you should just enjoy the music. Sure, some passages remind me of Paradise Lost, but of an era I loved, so I enjoy it. If you look for something unpredictable, something completely new, then A Rose For The Apocalypse won't satisfy you. But if you like heavy riffs, beautiful dark melodies, then you'll find it here.

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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