DRACONIAN "Turning Season Within" + "Where Lovers Mourn" /Digipack 2CD Set/

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  • Price in bonus-scraps: 119

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Re-release of the fourth and the first full-length albums, in one set, by the Swedish Gothic/Doom Metal band.
For their fourth studio album, 2008's "Turning Season Within", Sweden's Draconian strove to exploit the inherent dynamics between co-lead vocalists Lisa Johansson and Anders Jacobsson more completely than ever before, by crafting a song cycle focused on failed relationships; all well and good so long as you can envision a torrid love affair between Rapunzel and Cookie Monster, which is basically what the twosome sound like, respectively. Don't laugh: most Heavy Metal fans (and probably a few Disney employees) wouldn't even blink at this association, thanks to the abundance of so-called "beauty and the beast" vocal pairings spanning several Heavy Metal subgenres. In other respects, "Turning Season Within" picks up almost exactly where its excellent 2006 predecessor, "The Burning Halo", left off: with a number of majestic, deliberate, meticulously arranged, though generally shorter studies in deeply contrasting light and shade - see "Seasons Apart", "When I Wake", "Bloodflower" etc. - all of which epitomize the very best of the Melodic/Gothic Death/Doom style as we know it. The broader canvas afforded by the epic "Earthbound" also showcases Anders Karlsson's rich synthesizer orchestration, but some may opine that Johansson's siren-like vocal harmonies cross over into Lacuna Coil territory on "Not Breathing", while "The Failure Epiphany" sounds more like Novembers Doom than Draconian (apropos, since ND frontman Paul Kuhr guests on final postlude "September Ashes"). Even in light of these minor imperfections and the relatively small creative evolution at hand, though, there's no doubt that the Swedish septet was cruising in absolutely top form with "Turning Season Within", making it another redoubtable volume of work in Draconian's increasingly formidable discography.
"Where Lovers Mourn" - Epic Goth Metal with some heavy '70s Progressive elements (Rick Wakeman-style keyboards, occasional interludes of softer, folk-like melodies, some spoken word passages that sound like the Moody Blues played at 16 rpm - that sort of thing), the debut album by Sweden's Draconian is much better than many similar albums in this style. The seven-person band has a strong sense of both pacing and dynamics, which means that these eight lengthy tracks never bog down in repetitive riffing; the nearly 13-minute opener, "The Cry of Silence", manages to hold the listener's attention throughout, thanks to smartly deployed shifts in arrangement and tempo. Female singer Lisa Johannson is a perfect complement to her male counterpart, Anders Jacobsson, her warm mezzo-soprano tone adding a more interesting tonal shade than the usual faceless semi-operatic squealer who populates these bands (check out her glorious, soaring interludes on "Silent Winter" in particular). Happily, Jacobsson's booming, dramatic voice only rarely delves into the Cookie Monster clichés of Scandinavian Metal, making him a better than average singer for the style as well, and the band as a whole does an excellent job of varying its attack.
Napalm Records/Scarecrow Records, 2003/2006/2008 (WOW035-2). Made in Mexico.


CD 1 (Turning Season Within):
1. Seasons Apart 
2. When I Wake 
3. Earthbound
4. Not Breathing
5. Failure Epiphany 
6. Morphine Cloud 
7. Bloodflower
8. The Empty Stare 
9. September Ashes

CD 2 (Where Lovers Mourn):
1. The Cry Of Silence
2. Silent Winter
3. A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal
4. The Solitude
5. Reversio Ad Seccesum
6. The Amaranth
7. Akheronsin
8. It Grieves My Heart

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