Review: Draconian – Sovran



Genre: , ,
Overall Impression


Musical Quality


Total Score


Release Date

30 October 2015



Posted January 20, 2019 by

The Review

For me, Draconian has a unique style for itself. I cannot call it precisely gothic or doom. Frankly speaking, I also cannot call it a hybrid of those two genres called “gothic doom”. I know it’s futile to insist on limiting the music to specific genres, but I am talking about an original style here, got my drift? To be honest, the music types that harmonize depressive, melancholic, doom, gothic and ambient styles with female vocals and growls are too many, but they usually offer lots of mediocre repetitions that literally suffocate their listeners. However, the harmony offered by Draconian is not just a harmony, it is beyond it. It deserves another name and their harmony just gives its listener another musical experience than other “gothic doom bands” . Draconian is creative and quite experimental in almost every song they write and they are the pioneers in what they do. Therefore I call their style as gothic and doom influenced “draconianesque music”. It has a unique character and this characters grows bigger in metal scene year after year (here I must say I’m worried about the fact that they haven’t released anything since 2015, and if they want to remain in their place, they must keep producing. Yes, music remains, but I can’t get enough of draconianesque). And yes, since their debut, they are being copied by some other bands as well!

So, I have been thinking about writing a review on a Draconian album in a coon’s age, because Draconian -as you see- is definitely one of my favorite bands of all time. I remember listening to Draconian for the first time during my high school years in the United States, away from my home country. It was around 2003 and my only free time activity was basically listening to music. The first song I ever heard from Draconian was The Cry of Silence and I remember liking it a lot and listening to it in an infinite loop on my way to school from home (yes, we had cd players in those b.c. years). So, in order to pay tribute to Draconian, I thought about writing a review on their early productions at first, but then I did not want to be a conservative dick and I started to listen to their latest album Sovran once more (2nd time overall since 2016 I must admit, because I was very overwhelmed by my postgraduate studies and I couldn’t find time), but this time by paying closer attention to what I listen to. Upon doing it, I came to the conclusion that Draconian used to make music that is more doomish, depressive and ambient but somehow slightly less gothic back then from my perspective. I realized that, with Sovran, they balanced their composition with slightly more gothic sound, but still they kept their uniqueness. However, to my surprise (!), Sovran was not bad at all!

Let’s get to the album finally: The beginning of the album’s first song Heavy Lies the Crown captures the attention of the listener right away with catchy guitar and drum riffs. Then, the new (not new anymore!) female vocalist Heike comes into play with her mellow, beautiful voice. Her voice just fits into this composition perfectly. The vocal passages in this song get almost hypnotic as they continue. This is actually a classic Draconian sound. I must also draw attention to Heike’s vocal passage towards the 3rd minute of the second song The Wretched Tide, which is attractively beautiful and genius, and so is the one starting around 2:30 in Stellar Tombs. If you are looking for some elegant up-and-down guitar riffs, you should definitely check out No Lonelier Star. All of the musicians performing for Draconian are talented people indeed! Another thing I always loved in Draconian songs is the featuring of female and male vocals, which happens to exist in almost every song. Especially the feature of Anders and Heike together like a dialogue in Dishearten suits very well into the composition of the song (and Heike’s vocals at the end gave me goosebumps btw, I could almost fall in love). Finally, I think the most attention-grabbing song featured in this album is Rivers Between Us. I suggest listening to this song eyes closed. It’s like a surreal post-modern short story with many decorations of musical aesthetic of subversive beauty, and yet you’d wish it never ended (thank you Daniel btw). Now go and listen to this album once more and enjoy it to the deepest.

PS: I personally talked to Anders (such a cool guy!) and Heike a couple of times online. It’s been almost ages and they wouldn’t remember me at all, but I must say that they both were really nice people. They did not disregard my message even though they did not know me and they replied with kindness. Heike and Anders, If you ever get to read this, I must say thank you to both of you for being such good people.

Songs / Tracks Listing

1 Heavy Lies The Crown 6:38
2 The Wretched Tide 6:09
3 Pale Tortured Blue 6:14
4 Stellar Tombs 6:02
5 No Lonelier Star 7:50
6 Dusk Mariner 7:59
7 Dishearten 6:36
8 Rivers Between Us 6:47
9 The Marriage Of Attaris 8:56
10 With Love And Defiance 4:20

Line-up / Musicians

Johan Ericson Guitars (lead)
Anders Jacobsson Vocals, Lyrics
Jerry Torstensson Drums
Daniel Arvidsson Guitars (rhythm)
Fredrik Johansson Bass
Heike Langhans Vocals, Lyrics co-writing (tracks 6, 7, 9)




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