Draconian – The Burning Halo (2006) Album Review

And here I am, struggling to do this review with a terrible stomachache. If it wasn’t for Draconian I swear I would’ve not cared but for this band, I’d rather delay my death rather than delaying this review. People that are following my blog might be acquainted with their style and their musical approach especially since I reviewed their latest album, A Rose for the Apocalypse.

Draconian’s 3rd full length album The Burning Halo was released in 2006 is not really that much of a surprise nor an album that can break into charts. It is not even filled with new songs. It is composed of 3 original songs, 3 redone songs from the demo The Closed Eyes of Paradise and two other covers of songs from the 1970s.

Since they’re earlier album releases, Draconian became a band that must not be taken lightly by the metal community. Both Where Lovers Mourn and Arcane Rain Fell were well received by metal fans and their style started to get more refined. You know, it is said that the first album is an experimental album where the band tries to come up with something new. The second album is considered the strong piece of the collection and it depends of its success if the band will get to a higher place in charts and if it attracts more attention from the metal fan-bases.

However, the third album is the one that counts the most. The first two are the base, the foundation of a band’s style, yet the third is the one that gives them their identity and also their definite style. You do not need to know the band so that you can figure out their style, as long as you’re acquainted with their specific sound you can recognize them. Draconian is one of those band that have an aura in their songs, a special one, that makes them easy to be recognized.

Like we were used, this album as well features death grunts from Anders Jacobsson and clean vocals from Lisa Johansson. Surprisingly though, this duo in my opinion had the best performance in this album. The 1st song (which is the 1st original track of this album) entitled She Dies actually tells us already the style that the band developed. Anders has the main role in this song, with his powerful and convincing death grunts and with the melancholic guitar riffs, this song can quickly catch the attention of the listener and it stands as the perfect album introduction. The lyrics of this song depicts the death of a beloved one and the resolve the one that still lives has in order to not forget his beloved one wishing that if he could die along with her.

Likewise in the 2nd song of the album, entitled Through Infectious Waters (A Sickness Elegy) the main role is once again bestowed upon Anders but this time Lisa gets a more important role as well, featuring a perfect duo. It is only until the 3rd track and the last original one from this album, entitled The Dying when the power of this duo is revealed. This is probably the second best song from this album in my standards.

Now on to the re-recorded songs. Since the band changed a little bit from their early 1999 demo, they had to make these songs appeal for their new image as a Gothic doom metal band. As expected all of them fit seamlessly in the bands style however, the song that I considered the best out of all the songs from this album is The Gothic Embrace which expresses a huge disgust and hatred towards Christians and Christianity, depicting god and religion as an entity that stoles everything a man holds dear.

The two covers from this album are slightly different compared to the style that this band is using. Though the 1st song entitled On Sunday They Will Kill The World originally performed by Ekseption fits in the doom/death metal description and it is a good choice but the 2nd cover Forever My Queen does stray a bit from Draconian’s style mainly because the band that firstly performed it, Pentagram is slightly different in style playing a more traditional doom metal.

Though this could not be considered a very outstanding album, it sends exactly what the fans wanted to receive, more Draconian like songs with messages that hold deep meanings. I do admit that Draconian through Anders’s voice tends to be very convincing. His grunts are just absolutely amazing and combined with Lisa’s voice, they make a wonderful duo on stage and even on live performances.

I do not claim that this is their best album. Their style remained the same in all of their full length album which is quite amazing, however Draconian is not a band that reached its climax. I am definitely waiting to see them reaching it and if it will, I think it will be one of the best albums in the Gothic and doom metal genre of the new decade.

Overall Impression: 75/100