Draconian - _Arcane Rain Fell_
(Napalm Records, 2005)
by: Pedro Azevedo (7 out of 10)
This one had certainly been eluding me for a while -- since late January, to be more precise -- and I became increasingly curious to pore through it at my leisure because of all the praise that seemed to be bestowed upon it. Having finally found the opportunity to get to know the album, the reason for its success became clear: _Arcane Rain Fell_ embodies much of what melodic doom/death metal fans crave for.

Having never heard Draconian's only other album, _Where Lovers Mourn_, I cannot judge their progression or lack thereof. They use many of doom metal staples in their sound: heavy yet melodic guitar work, keyboard enhancements, spoken and growled vocals, and occasionally a sweet-sounding soprano -- too sweet, in fact, as some more depth would have been welcome in the female singing.

Draconian seem to have harvested influences from a number of sources, and the result bears a striking resemblance to Novembers Doom, Saturnus (mainly some of the spoken passages), Within Temptation (the female vocals sound uncannily similar on a couple of occasions) and early Theatre of Tragedy, among others. Their picking and mixing of proven doom metal elements for their sound will certainly help _Arcane Rain Fell_ impress a considerable number of listeners, especially those less versed in the genre. For other listeners however, it means they will spend much of the album trying to figure out exactly what a number of passages reminds them of -- and that can detract considerably from one's enjoyment of the record. Very well written, played and produced, _Arcane Rain Fell_ has enough competence to deserve a higher rating, but it suffers from a lack of originality.

Contact: http://www.draconian.se

(article published 9/2/2005)


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