Pestilence

Draconicon

Draconicon is back with their second release directly from Italy.
December 7, 2023

I said it before and I will say it again, Italians love their melodic epic metal with bands like LACUNA COIL and ELVENKING just to name a few. Yet, we are presented with another Italian band working on this metal genre with all the theatrics and musicianship that it requires. DRACONICON is the name of the band (please do not confuse it with the Dracula annual event ) and they are releasing their second full album Pestilence.  Their proposal is an epic melodic metal with violin touches and a bunch of singers credited. Only the bass player does not participate in the vocals. In addition, the band does not have a drummer credited for this album. Let’s see what they have to offer. The first track is “Twisted Reflection” that starts with a nightmarish mood and great orchestral arrangement. You notice that the band has well seasoned composers and this track shows a variety of moods and tempo changes held together by a good melody. I like what I am listening to so far. “Heresy” starts with a relentless double bass drum and falls into an interesting sweet melody. The band breaks the melody with guttural screams and a nice chorus. Great tempo changes on this track as well and nice keyboard work. The band really takes you places with intricate arrangements and musicianship.

The band has 2 very good guitar players and this is shown in the next track “Thorns”. Alex Moth and Grym Hünter start the song with a great duo guitar riff  and throughout the tune the two play creatively dueling each other’s riffs. Great guitar solo work as well. We reach “Pestilence” that gives the album its name. The tune starts with a hallucinated guitar solo and this is another well thought tune. Great tempo signatures and changes, each one with its own melody or musical arrangement. The band is not afraid to explore and this is great. Another banger with great arrangements is “Theater Of Sorrow”. Each song is a different tale told. All keyboard arrangements are very well added to the melodies as well as the violins from Simon Borgen. If the band has the resources to put up a good show live with decent theatrics, their songs will rise into another visual dimension.

 We pass the halfway point with “Circus Of The Dead” that starts with a creepy circus fair arrangement guiding you to the nightmare to come. If bass player Philip Skrim can’t sing, he can surely play. Always locked on the beat he performs well, but discreetly in some tunes. Let the bass speak a little more. “Drowned” is next and you also notice that their song structure is also well thought out. A variety of melodies in a single song that will intercalate seamlessly taking you by the hand. Another crazy guitar solo introduction with RUSH flavors (I dare to say) starts “Slumber Paralysis”. All songs of the album are unique in its proposal and each has great arrangements. Nothing sounds the exact same in the arrangements from one song to another. The singer Arkanfel has a powerhouse of a throat and great reach. However, despite being able to reach high piercing notes, he uses his capabilities wisely and the songs are not like a scream festival. Melody seems to be his goal.

A piano starts “Under The Weight Of Your Sins” and this is the inevitable ballad. Not much distorted guitars here folks. Is a good orchestral arrangement with the piano leading and a love suffering vocal melody. It did not impress me much unfortunately. Good effort though. We end the album with “Faust”. This tune starts with a punk grindcore vibe and screams to be mixed right after with the epic medieval vibes. I do not like those bands that have 2 vocal styles in one song. One melodic and one guttural taking the lead from each other. However, DRACONICON uses this subterfuge wisely and it does not bother. Solid second album and with a little stage production added, will definitely translate into good concerts as well. Sadly this is another band that has an uncredited amazing drummer and they will need to find a good one to replace whatever human or machine that performed on this album. I look forward to checking their future releases.

8 / 10

Excellent

Songwritting

8

Musicianship

8

Memorability

7

Production

8
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"Pestilence" Track-listing:

1.Twisted Reflection  

2.Heresy  

3.Thorns  

4.Pestilence  

5.Theatre of Sorrow  

6.Circus of the Dead  

7.Drowned  

8.Slumber Paralysis  

9.Under the Weight of Your Sin  

10.Faust

 

Draconicon Lineup:

Alex Moth- Guitars, Vocals (backing)

Grym Hünter- Guitars, Vocals (backing)

Simon Borgen- Violin, Vocals (backing)

Arkanfel- Vocals

Philip Skrim- Bass

 

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