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Draagyn – Bent Rib

Bent Rib
by Gary Hernandez at 19 November 2022, 4:26 PM

I don’t know a lot about DRAAGYN. From what I can ascertain she’s probably based out of Los Angeles; she’s a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist; and she has been producing a Blackened flavor of Metal since at least 2019.  It was in 2019 that she dropped her first single, “Majesty,” followed by two additional singles in 2020, “A Night Between Two Days” and “Venom.” On August 26, 2022 she released her debut EP, “Bent Rib.” It is disquieting and delicious.

If you need a ‘sounds like’ reference, I’d go with SYLVAINE, especially as she is also a multi-instrumentalist. And then there’s, FRAYLE but less so. As for the album, it is unclear if “Bent Rib” features an array of musician—e.g., if it is the product of a band, a project, or a solo artist. DRAAGYN, the person, has identified the work as her “first ever EP as a solo artist,” so I’m guessing that’s a solid clue.

Of the EP, DRAAGYN has said: “This is me at my rawest . . . I wrote ‘Bent Rib’ as an incantation. To release myself from a world I do not belong. To weave the yarns of fate and call it my own. Man has no power over me. He does not determine me. Draagyn is the light, and is the dark. Draagyn is the good, and is the evil. Draagyn is world creator and its destroyer. It matters not whether you understand. What is important is that there is a purpose.”

Bent Rib” comprises three tracks and has a full runtime of 15 minutes. If you combined the three previous singles plus this EP, you’d have a short full-length. My personal recommendation is to buy them all. They flow really well and, besides, it’s always fun to trace an artist’s trajectory over a body of work.

Vocally, DRAAGYN oscillates between ethereal soprano and demonic guttural. Lyrically, she is thoughtful and subversive, presumably introspective in her ruminations but they can also easily be projected across a wider swath of humanity. Tonally the album is a confluence of Black Metal and Prog. Some might call it Avant-garde, Experiment, Post-Metal. For me, it hovers at the edges of the Black Metal grayscape, with Atmospheric distortion and a coldness that dispels both light and warmth. For whatever reason, DRAAGYN doesn’t register in Metal Archives, but I get a feeling that will soon change.

With only three tracks, it’s unfair to rate some as standouts and others not. They are all very good. Instead, I’ll rate them in order of personal preference. I’ll start with “Beating Heart Cadaver” in the lead position simply because I’m a sucker for drums and this track features some killer drumming. For the number two spot, I’ll go with “Appetite of Man” for its multiple movements and raw and bruised lyrics. I’ll call “Bent Rib” as third. The first minute or so are difficult for me—just seems a bit contrived—but that vibe is eventually displaced by something large and evil. Although the opening motif reemerges, the track in its entirety sums up to an overall sense of disquiet . . . which is good. Good Metal is like a good Horror. I want to walk away with a feeling of unease—like having noticed something evil, something evil has notice me.

In summation: DRAAGYN. Band, project, person? Don’t know. Overall vibe: Way fucking intriguing. This album and this artist have my attention. All her releases have been on heavy repeat for me this week. Hoping a full-length is in the making, but for now we have “Bent Rib” plus a small stack of singles to revel in.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Bent Rib
2. Beating Heart Cadaver
3. Appetite of Man
Record Label: Secret Service Publicity


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