Five years on from what was actually my album highlight of that year, gothic doom metal pioneers Draconian return with the highly anticipated Under A Godless Veil.
A lot was happening in my life in 2015 and the band’s previous album almost seemed to be the soundtrack to accompany it, so when the new album was announced I was obviously excited but equally apprehensive as Sovran is very special to me. The album dramatically starts with the ethereal vocals of Heike Langhans which immediately draws you into “Sorrow of Sophia” which combined with “The Sacrificial Flame” provides over fifteen minutes of haunting melodic tones familiar to its predecessor.
The first release from the album, “Lustrous Heart”, was enough for me to place a pre-order all the way back in May as it’s Draconian through and through. The combination of Langhans’ and Jacobsson’s vocals complement each other so effortlessly and this spills into the slow brooding tones of “Sleepwalkers”.
Lyrically “Moon Over Saboath” is a great track which I particularly enjoyed with the inclusion of mystical elements. The accompanying video also has a fabulous quote from William Blake at the very start which is perfect for this particular track. “Burial Fields” then showcases Heike Langhans once more as it’s largely instrumental but still fits the overall dynamic of the album.
The highlight track of the album, “The Sethian”, transfixed me immediately with its hypnotic swirls and really heavy parts entwined in between. This then moves into “Claw Marks On The Throne” which has a fantastic chorus, great solos, and some really atmospheric spoken parts.
The downtempo mood of “Night Visitor” is the main reason I’ve gone back to this track in particular again and again, because every time I listen to it I find myself enjoying a different element.
Finally, the album finishes with its longest and grandest track, “Ascend Into Darkness”. If ever there was a track that pulls together every previous element then this would be it, This closing track, just like the first track of the previous album, gives me goosebumps every time I hear it and already it feels as no time as passed at all, let alone half a decade.
A breathtaking veil of melancholy.
Under A Godless Veil is out on the 30th of October