When it comes to Gothic Doom Metal of the female singer/male growler variety, Draconian are about the last band standing. Most of the quality bands of this ilk from the past (Theatre of Tragedy, Within Temptation) could not resist the urge to go the trendfucking route and ended up sounding like Wilson-Phillips. Not so for these Swedes, in fact quite the opposite. They actually refuse to change, having not done so one bit since their 2003 breakthrough full length, Where Lovers Mourn. Same style, same record label, same lineup (save for revolving bassists and keyboard players early on), same, same, same. Call them the AC/DC of Gothic Doom if you will (but please don’t). I’m not complaining, I respect stability and consistency. I admire it and strive for it myself. If it isn’t broken why the fuck fix it? I just find it hard to believe they’ve been able to achieve this level of it for eight years with a woman in the band. Just kidding, ladies! (Well… not really). And it definitely isn’t broken. Lisa Johansson and Anders Jacobsson’s beauty and the beast attack still sounds great, the music is still heavy yet dripping with melancholy, and the band still owe enough of their sound to Katatonia to keep me loyal (the main drum beat on “End of the Rope” sound familiar?). Still, I’m beginning to wonder if they’ll ever top 2005’s Arcane Rain Fell. Again, stylistically no different from what A Rose for the Apocalypse has on display, but that album had an air of perfection about it. It is their magnum opus, their Turn Loose the Swans, their Gothic. Ah, the heartbroken “Daylight Misery”… Fans of this style curious to seek this band out should probably start there first.
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