Sunday, December 31, 2017

Dracena (review by MMB)

Cursed to the Night
release date: October 30th, 2017
label: Infernö Records
Dracena’s music, which could be described as fast and melodic black thrash with a solid production, will, I hope, impress any metal supporter that wants, above all, headbanging songs. Comprised of eight songs, and clocking in just under 40 minutes, Dracena’s mastermind Mia Larsson apparently is just as impatient as anyone else, and she decided that the album must, absolutely must, be on point, must waste no time, get to the headbanging metal quickly, and when the song is finished, end it, and move on. There is no weirdo experimentation, no spoken-word passages, no ambient meditation segments, no big political declarations about the environment or politicians or whatever; there is one minute of quiet intro, and then it’s off to the races until the end, and then there are thirty seconds of outro, and it’s all over, and it’s time play it again.
Dracena is traditional extreme metal with the songwriting spirit of traditional heavy metal and thrash, along the lines of fast and headbanging black thrash. By the same token, if you already know that traditional heavy metal, classic-style thrash and traditional black metal are genres that you enjoy, then Dracena will be of interest if you’d like to hear a combination of these elements together as a coherent sound aimed straight at everyone into loud and proud metal music.
The riffs are based on ideas about what headbanging metal the Dracena way should be, which is an already established sound due to the fact that it was more than 20 years ago that Dracena started in Sweden. Many things have changed since the old days, people have come and gone, times of inactivity, but along the way the identity consolidated around an emphasis on speed, high energy and fast melody. If you are new to Dracena, but you are looking for an album that can draw you in as a participant, not a spectator, then consider this work. What does this mean, participant, not spectator? Dracena is not here to try to fool you and make you supposedly marvel at the so-called amazing talent. It’s not talent, like some sort of gift from nature. It’s sweat, skill and hard work. You, too, can learn to play metal like this, as long as you have this stubborn singlemindedness of purpose to do it for years and years. The difference is that Dracena has been sharpening the tools of the trade for a long time and the execution of the ideas is very good. It takes time to arrive at this sound and do it well. Dracena’s sound did not just show up out of the blue.
You can understand this music. You can hear the riffs, the drums and the vocals. You can do air guitar or real guitar to the solos. There is no mystery here: hard work in the art of the mighty metal riff. You can dedicate your attention to the album knowing that Mia and friends (Jocke on drums and Unleashed’s Fred on solos) understand people who listen to metal to bang their heads. This is Dracena metal.

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