There are some bands that have had, have and will always have a special place in our hearts. To me, one of them is Draconian. A special relationship that intensified when I served my army obligations on the gloomy and cold borders of Greece, as their music matched perfectly with the dark landscape of the area.
So, five years after “Sovran”, the Swedes return with their seventh full-length album which from the first singles that came out showed a return to older forms, since it reminds a lot of the masterpiece “Arcane Rain Fell”. This means that it differs significantly from the last three records of the band, in which they had slightly increased the rhythms and had become much more melodic. Certainly, not in the bad sense.
Their intention was also shown from the choice to restore their classic logo, which was used last time in the debut album “Where Lovers Mourn” (2003). Here, we witness the return to pure doom/death rhythms on the verge of funeral. The atmospheres they build are shocking, the melancholic melodies pierce your soul and the mournful rhythms do not let the slightest ray of sunshine through. Of course, their classic beauty and the beast vocals play a leading role.
I have to stand on the vocals, as a lot of work has been done again. Both from the leader of the band Anders Jacobsson in brutal and recitations, as well as from the amazing Heike Langhans who not only deservedly replaced the beloved Lisa Johansson but I dare say that she even surpassed her. Her performance is incredible, a seminar for any band that wants to play in this style.
The flow of the album is also awesome. With alternations between the very calm and the most aggressive moments (always in a doom background) with such a way that is not monotonous and keeps your interest undiminished for one hour, until the end. Diamonds like “The Sacrificial Flame” with the awesome melody at the end, the heartbreaking “Lustrous Heart”, the enchanting and atmospheric “Burial Fields”, the anthem “Moon Over Sabaoth” and “The Sethian” (not to mention all of them) are some great examples of the unquestionable quality in this release.
Draconian returned to their roots with an album that confirms (again) that in atmospheric doom/death metal they are the absolute leaders. In “Under A Godless Veil” I hear again the band I loved when I first came in contact with its music. Without copying themselves, they offer a well-structured record that shocks from the first to the last minute. Probably the best album of the year for me.