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Draconian - Under a Godless Veil Award winner

Under a Godless Veil
by Laura Glover at 08 December 2020, 7:02 AM

DRACONIAN’S highly awaited seventh album released on October 30, 2020, “Under a Godless Veil”. This stunning band comes from Sweden, the heart and home of my most favorite sound, melodic metal. Although, DRACONIAN is self-proclaimed Dark Gothic Doom Metal, it is hard to ignore the melodic undertones of their sound as a whole. Meanwhile, DRACONIAN has been around since 1994 perfecting their incredible music. 25 years we have been blessed by their creations. From deep, poetic lyrics, to gorgeous instrumental work, to the two vocalist whose voices capture your soul to completely; DRACONIAN is a band that it is hard not to fall instantly in love with. The contrasts of the beautiful and clean female vocals combined with the sultry and dark male vocals completely capture your attention and DO NOT let you go. “Under a Godless Veil” is an album written on Gnostic ideology; in fact, to truly understand the message within one should take the time to do an internet search on the content. “Under a Godless Veil” is an album that demands your attention and I often find myself closing my eyes and absorbing its haunting beauty and doom nature. But let’s be real, I don’t think DRACONIAN ever released anything that I don’t like.

“Sorrow of Sophia” - First, like I said this album is written in a way that it is truly beneficial to look its content up. Goddess Sophia is the Saint of Wisdom; followed in Platonism, Gnosticism, and Christian theology. She is the feminine personification of divine wisdom, or Holy Wisdom. She is not a Goddess in the classic Greek sense, but takes on the role of Goddess in Gnosticism. She is also known as, and perhaps more recognizable as Hagi Sophia. This is a soft song that at parts; somehow, I find most of DRACONIAN’S work to be soothing. However, for every angelic note sung by vocalist, Heike Langhans, there is an equally dark and growly note by Anders Jacobsson. That combo is so gripping! “Seducing the stars and the flaming Gaia”, seduces my ears into absolute oblivion! “Sacrificial Flame” - Lush guitar intro, soft and yet solid. Leading you into the trance of Heike’s voice. This song talks about many spiritual aspects. As a Pagan, I find this song relatable to my beliefs as well. Almost hypnotic in tone, I have to drag myself back from the beautiful seas in my mind this song left me in. “Soul, Matter, Spirit, Fire. Earth, Wind, Water, and Fire.” The spiritual vibes of this album are wrought throughout. Truly well written! “Lustrous Heart” - Drifting upon the clouds, soft and nearly in a daze of melodic guitar notes; met with Anders deep and harshly dark voice. The perfect offset to the silky female vocals. The subject content of this song talks more about Sophia, the Goddess of the hour. Wisdom, shall we call her Wisdom instead? This is a song more about her history, and Gnostic history itself. They sing to us of Byzantine Hero’s and Unknown Gods of old, Gods whose names may have been lost long ago.

The Sethian” - Rich notes on drum and guitar lead the way, setting the stage for this songs soft intro. Sethian’s were paramount in Gnosticism during the 2nd and 3rd century. Sethian’s attributed its conception to Seth, the third son of Eve and Adam. As well as Norea, wife of Noah. The poetic lyrics of this song are heart aching, haunting. Heike’s voice is so incredible and powerful, and her powerful notes capture your soul. Johan Ericsson on guitar and Jerry Torstensson on Drums meld perfectly with those incredible vocals. “Night Visitor” - This is my favorite song on this album. Heike’s voice sucked me in again! This is what her voice does to me. For many years I preferred male vocalists. When I first stumbled on DRACONIAN it was her voice that changed that for me. This track is an epic showcase of her vocal prowess. Soothing, yet metal. Soft yet dark. Definitely trance like! “I brush these shackles off the wind, With drunken insomniac frown, A never-ending repetition, To melt the frozen sun”. Poignantly written and sorrowful, yet only Heike can bring light to those sorrowful words. True alchemy in its most beautiful form.

A little over a year ago I started writing for Metal Temple. When I saw the ad recruiting writers, my very FIRST thought was “maybe DRACONIAN will pass my desk someday.” They are my favorite band, the one band I can put on and lose myself deeply into. I would highly recommend this album! If you are new to DRACONIAN please check them out! “Under a Godless Veil” is a spectacular album, truly all I had hoped it would be. I am beyond honored to get to write this review! DRACONIAN got me through the loss of my soulmate to epilepsy, and many other dark moments throughout the years; since the day I first stumbled on them. It was absolute love at first listen. Thank you DRACONIAN for being so amazing! And to the rest of the world, give “Under a Godless Veil” a listen. You’ll likely fall in love like I did, 10 is not a high enough rating for this album!!

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Sorrow of Sophia
2. The Sacrificial Flame
3. Lustrous Heart
4. Sleepwalkers
5. Moon Over Sabaoth
6. Burial Fields
7. The Sethian
8. Claw Marks on the Throne
9. Night Visitor
10. Ascend into Darkness
Anders Jacobsson – Vocals
Heike Langhans – Vocals
Johan Ericsson – Guitar
Jerry Torstensson – Drums
Record Label: Napalm Records


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