Draconian - Sovran - (9.5/10)

Published on November 23, 2015


  1. Heavy Lies the Crown
  2. The Wretched Tide
  3. Pale Tortured Blue
  4. Stellar Tombs
  5. No Lonelier Star
  6. Dusk Mariner
  7. Dishearten
  8. Rivers Between Us
  9. The Marriage of Attaris


Gothic Metal / Doom



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The masters have returned…


Through their five previous albums, Sweden’s Draconian garnered a reputation as one of the best gothic/doom metal bands out there, building on a strong doom metal foundation with gothic under- and overtones, female vocals (which are not soprano, but more of an ethereal style) and some of the best growls of the genre. Equipped with new singer Heike Langhans (taking over from Lisa Johansson), Sovran is their sixth strike and first since 2011’s A Rose for the Apocalypse and while not being a dramatic departure from their core sound, they still manage to avoid stand still.




Draconian’s sound always has had this wonderful balance between the crushing doom melancholy and the uplifting glimpses of hope courtesy of the gothic elements, which has been shifting one way and the other just enough to continue a different kind of balance in the form of consistency and avoidance of treading water. And the consistency between and during the albums has been astonishing for years and Sovran is no exception.


Draconian band


“Heavy Lies the Crown” sets out with a classical doom riff, delivering the promise their past albums have made every single time, with Heike’s almost frail voice perfectly complementing Jacobsson’s mighty growl, creating this interplay of contrasts between outstanding melody and menacing counterpart that just hovers over the powerful musical foundation and elevates the already very strong musical foundation even further towards the Olympus of the genre. Calling Sovran a dramatic release might evoke images of overwrought theatricalism or an attempt to make an opera out of the whole thing, but instead the dramatic intensity Draconian are able to build up with the dual vocals, dynamic flow and dense atmosphere is another element that makes the Swedes stand out.


The bleak feeling of “Pale Tortured Blue”, the sheer power of “Stellar Tombs”, gloomy masterpiece “Dusk Mariner”, the beautiful ballad “Rivers Between Us” or moody doom monolith “The Marriage of Attaris”, Draconian hit every facet on its head and offer a near-perfect combination of the two styles without getting cheesy or



Langhans’ more commanding voice (without losing the ethereal quality of Johansson, though) gives Draconian a formidable element to complement Jacobsson’s growl that still is strong and powerful yet intelligible, while the production is absolutely brilliant, clear, warm, deep, giving the songs the perfect environment to unfold their grandeur. Draconian cement their position as one of metal’s leading forces in the gothic/doom genre and should once again, deservedly, see high ratings in year-end listings all over!

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Author: Alex Melzer

The grey eminence behind TMO. Head of the Brotherhood. Conqueror of Cancer

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