Draconian: The Burning Halo

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Draconian: The Burning Halo
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Draconian: The Burning Halo
Doom Metal, Gothic Metal
Napalm Records
September 29th, 2006
Release length: 53:56
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Fans of the Draconian album Arcane Rain Fell may approach The Burning Halo with a little fear. This release, as cited from the booklet, is not an official “successor” to Arcan Rain Fell, but rather a “bonus” album that shows the evolution of Draconian fromt he past up to this point. It contains three new songs in the vein of their last release, three songs off one of their unreleased demos, as well as two songs covered by bands that proved to be greatly influential for the band’s sound. This compilation of darkness is what this album brings to the table, making The Burning Halo a very important piece of “bonus material” for their fans.

Clearly, this album will be examined in three parts, the first being the newly recorded tracks. These three songs (“She Dies”, “Through Infectious Waters” and “The Dying”) sound as if they were off the cutting room floor from the previous album. These heavy sounding doom tracks offer a very beautiful, but very dark sound, showing once again what anything gothic-inspired should sound like. The female vocals are simply beautiful and would even give Liv Kristine (Theatre Of Tragedy, Leaves Eye’s) a run for her money. The only thing is that the songs go on for so long, and if you’re not into the style all that much, they may get boring. “The Dying”, for example, is a beautiful song with really powerful guitar riffs and vocals, but considering some of the instrumental bridges, you would feel annoyed with the slow progression of the song and probably skip along.

The next grouping of songs come off the band’s demo The Closed Eyes Of Paradise. It’s not quite clear whether the songs were just remastered and put on here, or if these are re-recorded tracks, but either way, if you don’t like the way the band has progressed lately, these tracks will make you happy. The songs are more upbeat musically. While the first three had a slightly romantic feel, these three definitely push a beautiful sound towards you without the doom-like grief of their more recent material. “The Gothic Embrace” and “Serenade Of Sorrow” definitely stand out on this release, being the perfectly blend of what has made Draconian a house hold name in the style. And, with those three songs passed, the only thing left to do is look at the cover songs, which are absolutely splendid. If you happened to enjoy the originals back in the day, then you will embrace these with open arms, as the band successfully captures the original sound, but blending in the heaviness of today’s doom with a sound very reminiscent of the last album, meaning very heavy, and very dark. “On Sunday They Will Kill The World” is the best of the two, having a nice, all around sound, but a simply breathtakingly beautiful chorus.

While the first three are perfect if you’re looking to relax, the slow progression through each song may cause some people to lose interest with how the band is progressing. The real gems here are the unreleased demo tracks mentioned above, as well as the “On Sunday They Will Kill The World” cover. The cover of “Forever My Queen” is perhaps the only really bad song on the album, as it completely clashes with the sound of the album, and doesn’t do justice to the original at all. But, regardless, this is one hell of a CD that showcases the band from where they stand, and leaves you wanting to know what the future holds in store for this band.

01. She Dies – 7:28
02. Through Infectious Waters (A Sickness Elegy) – 8:04
03. The Dying – 9:48
04. Serenade of Sorrow – 5:00
05. The Morningstar – 8:01
06. The Gothic Embrace – 8:34
07. On Sunday They Will Kill the World (Ekseption cover) – 4:12
08. Forever My Queen (Pentagram cover) – 2:49+
Initial Pressing Score: 8/10

Draconian (band)
Draconian

Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.