DRACONIAN - The Burning Halo

Draconian - The Burning Halo

8 songs
54:00 minutes
***** ****
Napalm

Bandpage

Draconian from Sweden were formed in the mid 90s, more or less at the same time when Paradise Lost released their Draconian Times classic. The band name and a closer look at the cover artwork show that Draconian must be another doom or gothic band. That's right, but there are not many bands doing this better than they do on their third album.

Seven songs are running between five and ten minutes and the seven musicians are trying their best to give them a maximum of input. The opener She Dies is a rather slow track with intense death metal growls, beautiful and romantic female vocals and some spoken words. The next song Through Infectious Waters starts as a symphonic black metal hymn, but it gradually lowers its speed before turning into a female vocals gothic track. The masterpiece is the ten minute long The Dying, starting with doom from the crypt before becoming very epic and ending with slow piano parts. Serenade Of Sorrow is not bad, but not a very spectacular gothic song with male and female vocals following the beauty and the beast cliché. The Morningstar is another highlight for symphonic black metal fans who will enjoy the rich instrumentation. On Sunday They Will Kill The World is the album's slowest track and wouldn't attract too much attention on a The Gathering album. The album ends with a joke as the three minutes short Forever My Queen starts with a cool Celtic Frost like intro before transforming into a groovy stoner version of Motörhead.

Draconian have shown with this album that doom and especially gothic can still be interesting when you put enough different ideas into your songwriting. The Burning Halo is an album that every tolerant black, death and dark metal fan can appreciate in all its aspects. Draconian deserve some recognition with this great work.

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