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Númenor – Draconian Age Award winner

Draconian Age
by Leanne Evans at 16 April 2021, 12:58 PM

There is something deeply rousing and fulfilling to the soul when it comes to listening to a dose of power, and when you combine traditional power elements with a fistful of heavy, black and death metal – and some bits in-between - maaaan, it’s mind-blowingly brilliant! Serbian power giants NUMENOR do just that; their uniquely masterful take on fantasy themes, combined with black and death metal nuances, is simply divine and has you on a power trip like no other. Latest release, “Draconian Age”, creates an almost phantasmagorical journey through exploration of fantasy-themed tracks, pulling inspiration from Michael Moorcock to J.R.R. Tolkein, even through to H.P. Lovecraft. Venturing through a gargantuan display of epic sonics and tantalising tracks, NUMENOR create a one-of-a-kind metaphorical spectacle, conveying fantasy narrative through sound to perfection; so much so, you feel like you’re deeply rooted as a character in one of the fantasy author’s works, all courtesy of the brilliance of NUMENOR’s craft.

NUMENOR’s style is a very unique one, and a brilliant one at that. Drawing influence from an eclectic mix of some big names in metal, including IRON MAIDEN, RHAPSODY, BAL-SAGOTH, BLIND GUARDIAN and old DIMMU BORGIR, really sets NUMENOR apart from anyone else out there. Interestingly, and pretty bloody epically, they kick off “Draconian Age” with “Make the Stand (At the Gates of Erebor)” with the fighting force of Hansi Kursch’s (BLIND GUARDIAN) vocals. I mean, HOW much power can you get in one track? Lashings of impressive power tones are overtly thrust in your face in “Númenor”, with the wonderfully impassioned vocals kicking in with alllll that relentless double-bass drumming Marko so expertly delivers; it really is a force to be reckoned with.

“Draconian Age” needs to come with a disclaimer of sorts; by track three, I promise you that you’ll be bursting at the seams with an abundance of energy! The absolutely spectacular “Hall of the Mountain King” bounds in and boy, is this a highlight and half from NUMENOR. Originally an orchestral composition from the late 1800’s, and better known to us Brits as the “Alton Towers theme tune”, this piece exudes everything domineering and frenetic. Pure energy, pure virtuosity like no other, layer upon layer of guitars, Despot’s gritty distorted vocals, an absolute aural orgasm of a composition to ravish and listen to over and over again. A special mention to Mladen for the beautiful keyboard work on this track, too; it’s absolutely stunning.  You’re now pumped up for “Feanor”, an epic call to arms piece, with heavy BAL-SAGOTH influence and mesmerising vocals from Željko, and then in comes “Mirror, Mirror”, the half-way mark for “Draconian Age”, with an injection of that infectious energy we’ve experienced and those wonderfully unnerving vocals once again. NUMENOR present an aural exploration like no other.

The fabulous LOTR thematic pushes through further in the latter part of NUMENOR’s latest release and an impassioned “Arkenstone” kicks in, with plenty of double-bass drumming and exciting nuances to keep you on your toes, especially the vocal harmonies and a wonderful solo from Srđan. Each track in “Draconian Age” tells a story in itself and NUMENOR has an ability to instrumentally set the tone, as seen once again in “Where Battle Rages on”. The old DIMMU BORGIR influence really comes through in the vocals, relentless drumming and deep bass line ensure that we feel right at the heart of a bludgeoning battle, the toying of tempo also reflects the exhaustive nature of going to war.

As the saying goes, “Imitation is the best form of flattery”. There are some obvious influences of BLIND GUARDIAN in the album, even down to a couple of the tracks being named after BLIND GUARDIAN compositions, BUT, NUMENOR still bring heaps of atmospheric moments and boundless energy to them with their own uniqueness to boot. “Twilight of the Gods” is quite the rousing piece, as is “The Days of Final Frost”, with its extravagance through dissonance, meaty bass work and climatic keyboard layers, it’s a piece of atmospherical brilliance. NUMENOR’s impressively imposing style really climaxes in the last track of “Draconian Age”, “The Last of the Wizards”. There’s a mesh of emotive structure to the track, jammed full of instrumental excess in a gigantic over-the-top composition that’s simply divine, especially when the tempo slows and the focal point becomes the tinkering keyboard. A delicious piece of work by NUMENOR. In the words of Gandalf the Grey said, “All we have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to us”. I personally think you should spend your time listening to the wonders of “Draconian Age”.

If you’re craving a grandiose aural exploration, look no further than the masterpiece that is “Draconian Age”. NUMENOR’s colossally perfect pomposity is infectious, each track flowing seamlessly one into the next, creating an impressively imaginative narrative and offering some much-needed escapism into the fantasy world of sword and sorcery. Bilbo Baggins said, “Don’t adventures ever have an end? I suppose not. Someone else always has to carry on the story”. NUMENOR has done exactly that; they’ve masterfully honoured the plights and battles from some truly wonderful stories, and continued the fantasy quests as a celebration in sound, bringing them to life.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Make the Stand (At the Gates of Erebor)
2. Númenor
3. Hall of the Mountain King
4. Feanor
5. Mirror, Mirror
6. Arkenstone
7. Where Battle Rages on
8. Twilight of the Gods
9. The Days of Final Frost
10. The Last of the Wizards
Despot Marko Miranović - Vocals (lead)
Srđan "Sirius" Branković - Guitars, Bass
Mladen Gošić - Keyboards
Željko Jovanović - Vocals (additional)
Marko Milojević – Drums
Record Label: Elevate Records


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Edited 06 February 2023

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