Under A Godless Veil
October 30, 2020
They took five years for the “Sovran” successor. It certainly wasn’t easy for the band from Sweden. Singer Heike Langhans in particular had problems with her residence permit or naturalization in the Scandinavian country. In addition, long-time bassist Frederic Johanson has since left the band. Thus, Daniel Änghede took over this position as a guest. I admit, I like these dark doomy sounds, as they are or were celebrated perfectly by bands like Tristania, Theatre of Tragedy or the earlier Weeping Silence. So of course, I was looking forward to the seventh studio work of the Swedes, the second with singer Heike Langhans.
Yes, with the first few bars of “Sorrow Of Sophia” the Swedes show that they are masters of decelerating. Quiet guitars and the elven vocals of Heike Langhans start before the hard riffs trickle thickly from the speakers. Plus, the growls of Anders Jacobsson. At the moment there is hardly a band that intones Doom so well. Eventually I noticed there’s Aeonian Sorrow, which sometimes still dark and brutal sound. The strings in the middle section sound just as melancholy. “The Sacrificial Flame” sounds a tick harder then. Mainly because of the even harsher growls. “Lustrous Heart” starts with clean guitars that sound almost happy for Doom. But this is soon overcompensated by the dark riffs and growls. Occasional melodies that fight against the riffs can be heard on “Moon Over Sabaoth”. The growls clearly dominate here. Heike’s singing sounds like it doesn’t come from this world. Or is it? From the sirens from Homer’s “Odyssey”? With “The Sethian” the spherical keyboard sounds, and the hymn-like chorus are particularly impressive. But Draconians saved the best for last. The grand finale “Ascend Into Darkness” includes everything the Doom has to offer. Spherical sounds of the keys, slow but hard riffs. The interplay of growls and elven singing, almost a singing competition. Beautiful guitar hooks create a very positive atmosphere.
The long wait was worth it. Draconian released a true Doom masterpiece. After the aforementioned bands either no longer exist (Theatre of Tragedy), have made a musical style change (Weeping Silence) or have not been heard for a long time (Tristania – last album “The Darkest White”, 2013), the Sweden loudly claim to the now orphaned throne of Doom Metal with female-male alternating vocals. With “Under A Godless Veil” the accession to the throne should definitely succeed.
Draconian – Sleepwalkers: https://youtu.be/K32zXX8hP7c
Johan Ericson – Guitars (lead), Songwriting
Anders Jacobsson – Vocals, Lyrics
Jerry Torstensson – Drums, Percussion
Daniel Arvidsson – Guitars (rhythm), Vocals (track 7)
Heike Langhans – Vocals, Lyrics (track 4)
- Sorrow Of Sophia
- The Sacrificial Flame
- Lustrous Heart
- Moon Over Sabaoth
- Burial Fields
- The Sethian
- Claw Marks On The Throne
- Night Visitor
- Ascend Into Darkness