DRACONICON – “Don’t Think Of The Typical Power Metal”
November 17, 2023, 2 weeks ago
Fresh off inking a deal with Inner Wound Recordings, Italy’s Draconicon have upgraded their songwriting and soundscapes on second full-length Pestilence. The follow-up to 2021’s Dark Side Of Magic, Draconicon enlisted Fleshgod Apocalypse’s Francesco Ferrini to compose the orchestral elements. The result is a maturing band taking their power metal foundation to the next level not just musically, but lyrically as well. Pestilence is out today (November 17) on CD and limited vinyl and is available to order on Bandcamp.
BraveWords caught up with guitarist Alex Moth to talk about Pestilence, its themes, power metal, and plans for the future.
BraveWords: Let’s dive into this new album Pestilence – how does differ from the debut? The album sounds more focused and cohesive than 2021's Dark Side Of Magic.
Alex: “Certainly, Pestilence is indeed more cohesive compared to Dark Side Of Magic. This is because we believe we have found the right formula and the true Draconicon sound, which was already hinted at in the previous album. Now, the real challenge will be to refine this formula and make the next record even more unique.”
BraveWords: Tell me about teaming up with Francesco from Fleshgod Apocalypse. His input adds a new dimension to the band’s sound.
Alex: “Compared to Dark Side Of Magic, we needed to make the orchestral part of the album even darker. So, we took it upon ourselves to arrange some orchestral layers to convey the right idea to Francesco. He immediately said, ‘Arranging a power metal album? Awesome, guys! I love it!’ to which we responded, ‘No! Haha, don't think of the typical power metal. We called you precisely because we need darker, more ominous sounds, akin to those of Fleshgod Apocalypse.’”
BraveWords: Lyrically the album is dark, what was the band’s mindset when writing these songs and what was inspiring you?
Alex: “As the album's title suggests, the event that inspired us was the recent pandemic from which the world is still recovering. However, our lyrics aimed to delve into the mental aftermath of this event. The mental health of individuals was severely tested, and when fear, stress, and anxiety push the human mind to its limits, the darkest aspects of each person emerge.
“In addition, from a lyrical perspective, we wanted to grow as artists. Therefore, we decided to step outside the conventions of the genre, to which we remain attached. We hope that our desire to make ourselves unique and original is appreciated.”
BraveWords: What was the idea behind the cover art? It’s not a typical power metal type cover, unlike the first one with the dragon on it!
Alex: “Regarding the cover art, after the more typical Dark Side Of Magic album cover, we aimed to evolve. So, we thought of an ominous figure, whose attire is clearly inspired by our costumes, with a physician's mask. The character, in theory, should be trying to cure the plague in our world, but instead, he spreads it, aiming to create chaos. This concept represents a departure from the typical power metal imagery and aligns with the darker themes of the album.”
BraveWords: How do you feel about the current power metal genre? Do you find it increasingly difficult to remain unique and different from other bands?
Alex: “We are very attentive and listen carefully to all the new bands and the current power metal scene. Striving to be unique is always risky because you might not immediately please or convince fans who are accustomed to certain conventions. However, we believe it is the true and only path to success. Our motto is ‘We must be classy’. We hope that this quality shines through in our music.”
BraveWords: What was the idea behind the “Thorns” video?
Alex: “We wanted to create a video that was different from the usual lyrics video, so we came up with an animated video that perfectly captured the meaning of the song.”
BraveWords: What’s in store for the future? Touring plans?
Alex: “We're waiting for the right opportunity to go on tour. For an emerging band that isn't yet signed to a major label, it can be challenging to secure spots on major tours. We hope to get there, perhaps by also making a mark at a significant festival.”