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Friday, November 04, 2016

EP REVIEW: Drakonis have a whiff of excellence on 'As They Rot'

AMBITIOUS live, with a full-on sensory experience Drakonis take the stage environment as a theatrical front for their dark, extreme music, corpse paint, skulls, chain mail et at.

However, translating the drama of such a full-on experience into the studio can be a challenge, with their black metal sound, echoing the death metal is something that can daunt even the most experienced performers.
Cover art for Drakonis EP As They Rot

Thus when they unveiled their 'As They Rot' three-track ep it was a certain sense of trepidation that was almost necessary when approaching the listening experience.

Thankfully they have not only captured the drama, but enhanced the aural assault. Stripped from the props the music stands true, unveiling a complexity and a sensibility required to deliver extreme music without muddying the waters with a dense sound.

No doubt the experience of Saul and Lee (Waylander) has helped them recreate the live sound's, but there is a sense of suitability in the arrangement and production of the tracks.

From the off 'All Is Still' manages to be propelled along with an excellent standard of musicianship, as well as the good sense to allow moments for breath, moments that accentuate the track. Throughout the six minutes plus each element of the song is carefully managed.

Similarly on 'Abundance off Sin' there is no sense that this is being extreme for the sake of being extreme. Yes, they doff their caps to their predecessors and contemporaries in metal, but the riffs, pace and overall feel is clearly of their own design. Indeed, there is purpose in the mid-section that grabs the listener.

It is on the title track 'As They Rot' that they take excellence to a new level. Cass broods with malevolence as it open, and maintains it as a riff that buzzes and batters rolls into play. The tale unfolds and you are going to a very dark place..

The production and mix is well separated; whether it be the bass, guitar lines, drums or vocals are all allowed their moment.

Given they have previously focusses on free distro of their material, and this is their first physical release, Drakonis deserve to take this further and develop a full-length release.

Review by Jonathan Traynor

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