Draconian - Turning Season Within

Sweden’s Doom-Gothic outfit Draconian is back with their fourth full-length work “Turning Season Within”, which like past releases continues to display a close adherence to the doctrines of a genre that has changed precious little in the last 15 years. Few bands can claim to be entirely original within the framework of a rigid style like Doom-Gothic and although “Turning Season Within” exhibits some typical artefacts of the genre like the monstrous male/angelic female vocal interplay, acoustic interludes and swamps of keyboards melodies, Draconian have also made an effort to stamp their own mark and occasionally there are a few surprises to be heard throughout its 52 minutes that veers the overall listening way from predictability. Take the superb “When I Wake” for instance, its deeply melancholic riff akin to Katatonia fills the theme with a tension that is impossible not to feel disturbed and entangled in such morose atmosphere. Its shimmering guitar lines also provide a beautiful contrast to the anguished growls of Anders Jacobsson. “Earthbound” is also a thicker, denser song, shifting from a more aggressive tempo to a mournful slow one that segues into an acoustic section, while “Morphine Cloud” is Doom-Goth by numbers with those crying guitars in the true vein of My Dying Bride, the spoken words reminiscent of early Anathema and memorable chorus close to Lacuna Coil.
Tailored towards a wider audience, “Turning Season Within” is a more palatable and accessible work than previous releases, largely thanks to a pristine production that brings out the strength of the instruments and the beauty of the arrangements. Very worthwhile! (7/10)

Band info: www.draconian.se
Label info: www.napalmrecords.com