Draconian is a widely known name in the worldwide metal-head community. While the metal mainstream mostly evades doom metal, this Swedish Gothic doom metal band has a fair share of underground popularity. With 15 years and five full-length albums (now six, with "Sovran") under their belts, the band has held up nicely, able to appeal to fans of "trve" underground metal and more popular mainstream metal.
I am usually judgmental of an album's similarity from the first track forward, and this album has enough variety to keep me interested. The nine tracks of this album contain the melancholy that is expected from European doom metal, and the beauty and dual male growl/female opera vocals that are expected from European Gothic metal. Beyond that, the music does have variations of tempos, vocal ratios, heavy vs. downtrodden intros, and heaviness vs. melody. South African vocalist Heike Langans (successor of Lisa Johansson) carries the band in much the same direction as her predecessor in her Draconian debut with her own style and timbre while co-founder Anders Jacobsson continues to compliment with his gutturals. The instrumental musicianship is on point, creating an ambiance of sorrow, beauty, and psychedelia that continues for the entire album.
The album cover appears to fit the music, while not making a connection to the songs that is too obvious. The track lengths are just right for melodious doom metal: mostly in the 6-8 minute range, minus the closer "The Marriage of Attaris", clocking in at nearly nine. The song titles are easy enough to remember, as well as tie to their respective songs, and the album title is simple enough albeit easy to misspell as "Sovereign" the first time.
My rating: 7.5/10
Don't forget to tune in to my show, the Death Pit, every Saturday at 9pm PST!