This was the sort of a gig that was not meant to be really. Draconian’s debut U.K. appearance was meant to have been some months previous but things happened and things did not happen, which resulted in this show being the replacement.
The venue itself was ideal. If you have not been to the Boston Music Rooms before ( and I had not), the room was on one level, bar running the length of one side, compact stage, and a capacity of no more than 250, perfect.
I had been lucky enough to witness the afternoon sound check sessions, so I was more than a little pumped for the evening’s entertainment, the first segment coming in the form of My Silent Wake, a band that in many ways were the perfect choice to open this night of Doom. Having been around now for some ten years, they are professional enough to know what is required, and deliver an excellent set, which draws on material from the current album ‘Damnatio Memoriae’ (material so impressive, that I wandered over to the merch stand and bought a copy). The sound, I guess , is more from the Type O, Paradise Lost end of the Doom spectrum but stays varied, and indeed improves as the set progresses. A band well worth checking out again in my view. https://www.facebook.com/MySilentWake?fref=ts
Main support Helevorn take things to a complete new level though, a simply stunning set from a band that I had not seen play live before but who just blew me away. Vocalist Josep just has a knack of being able to create feelings of such anguish, torment and sorrow that you could not help but become immersed in this sea of glorious Melodic Doom. Drawing material from the current eight track album ‘Compassion Forlorn’, the set flowed wonderfully well. From the almost upbeat ‘Burden Me’ to the just superb ‘Els Dies Tranquils’ (featuring Lisa Cuthbert), I and many others stood transfixed, just glad to be able to absorb the moment. I sincerely hope the U.K. gets to see these guys again soon. https://www.facebook.com/helevornband?fref=ts
I will be honest from the start by stating that Draconian are one of my favourite bands of all time, and not just in the Doom genre either. So for me to get the pleasure of seeing them perform their first ever U.K. show was just amazing. I have seen them play live before but they play so few gigs that it was a fair few years ago, although having said that, the gig count seems to be improving of late.
Now, I was as surprised as anyone to find out that due to the dreaded visa problems that seem to pop up from time to time with touring, vocalist Heike was unable to make the trip, and so a not inconsiderate amount of pressure was heaped upon the aforementioned Lisa Cuthbert, a pressure she revelled in however. The set opened with ‘The Drowning Age’ followed by the immense ‘Bloodflower’, a track that is just made for the stage, vocalist Anders, in his element as he delivers incredible power and emotionally charged lyrics that had me totally transfixed. ‘Heavy Lies The Crown’ comes next, taken from the forthcoming album ‘Sovran’ (released at the end of October), and what a track, Lisa’s voice doing incredible justice to this song in particular.
A big part of Draconian’s success has always been their ability to weave imagery and depth of emotion into the music and lyrics, and tracks like ‘A Scenery Of Loss’ display that to its fullest, this is not just Doom, this is not just Metal, this is a musical art form, and no band does it better. ‘Heaven Laid In Tears’ is followed by another new track ‘Dishearten’ , which gives another welcome insight as to the material soon to be released, before ‘The Cry Of Silence’ draws the curtain on the main segment. Tonight though has two encores, the incredible ‘Morphine Cloud’ and my all time favourite Draconian track ‘Death Come Near Me’ , which is just faultless in its delivery. The perfect end to a show that will live in my memory for years to come. As I said at the beginning, I make no apologies about being a huge fan of the band, and as such, maybe my thoughts are a little on the biased side but even if you were not a devotee, being there that night and witnessing Draconian live, would surely make you want to come back for more. Let’s just hope it does not take as long before they hit the U.K. again soon