DRACONICON - Pestilence

November 20, 2023, 7 months ago

(Inner Wound)

Nick Balazs

Rating: 7.5

review heavy metal draconicon

DRACONICON - Pestilence

Draconicon dives into madness and the depths it can take you when faced with a traumatic experience – case in point with COVID-19 and the recent pandemic, which their new album Pestilence takes inspiration from. The Italians take a different approach with the subject by offering a view from the mental health toll of such an event and does it in a smart way. Pestilence still retains that Euro power metal approach of feeling like you’re in a faraway land/world, just with deeper subject matter.

While their 2021 debut The Dark Side Of Magic was decent although a bit dull, Pestilence weaves catchy hooks, rhythmic guitars, and bright melodies with robust orchestral arrangements courtesy of Fleshgod Apocalypse’s Francesco Ferrini. The runtime of 10 tracks at 41 minutes also helps tremendously with the songs hanging on in the 4 minute range and not overstaying their welcome.

It’s hard to ignore the similarities to Elvenking – especially with vocalist Arkanfel reminding of Damna. Arkanfel sounds much more confident and commanding on this record, utilizing his voice in a grittier, more sinister way that meshes with the Pestilence’s topics. There’s even harsh vocals featured on desperate closer “Faust”. “Theatre Of Sorrow” and “Circus Of The Dead” bring out the best in the band – vocal hooks with calamitous orchestral arrangements that demonstrate the madness faced in this plague filled world.  

The tribal element in the brooding “Drowned” is welcomed while “Slumber Paralysis” features a swirling neo-classical guitars and a manic chorus. It’s like a crazed version of a classic Rhapsody In Fire track – great stuff!

Pestilence is a marked improvement over The Dark Side Of Magic with better songs and tightened arrangements. If you enjoy symphonic power metal that’s not too over-the-top then check these guys out.

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