Review: “The Drakketh Saga” by Dragoncorpse

How can we put this? Lets try this… An actively growing concern since 2021 that has brought a trio of singles to the King’s table thus far, Dragoncorpse are an intriguing international prospect. Depending on where you look Dragoncorpse the bands sound has been defined as Death Metal that seamlessly blends Deathcore and Power Metal or  Symphonic Metalcore with Power Metal lyrical themes and as we all know those genre distinctions are canyons apart and could cover any multitude of sins. We’re also in the dark as to the bands current line up with the promo pictures showing them as a quintet although some institutions of the Metal World you can usually hang your hat on do not list drummer Justin Gogan (Phantomaire, Throne of Exile) as a member of the group or as being involved in the group where others do. What we do know is that “The Drakketh Saga” is a debut album mixed and mastered by Sammy Morales (Divinitist, Rings Of Saturn) with orchestration from Dale Urban (Mortem Obscuram, Salem Burning), vocals from Mardy Leith (Victory, Russian Novel), guitars from Kris Chayer (Beyond Deviation, Burnt River) and bass from Noah Nikolas Laidlaw (Planetkiller, Possess the Asylum, Wither Within). All of that means Dragoncorpse are a collection of seasoned veterans spread out across various parts of Canada and the US with the vocalist living in Australia…

…you only need look at the track listing to realise that “The Drakketh Saga” boasts four interludes and five tracks proper making the record something of a halfway house between an album and an EP in length while the cover art is eerily reminiscent of 2018’s “Deathwish” from Within Destruction. Nothing can however prepare you for the Pagan Folk introduction of “Sunlover“, which takes a leaf from Ridley Scott’s original 1979 Alien movie with a chest bursting moment into what can only be described as a fusion of Death Metal and Power Metal encapsulated in a single easy to swallow vitamin tablet. The formulation is straightforward enough, the chorus are brightly clean sun in Dio like fashion with fantasy lyrics and all the high pitched warbling you could possibly want. Then the switch beside Frankenstein’s monster gets flipped for the verses in which we get brutal onslaught of unclean savagery with razor sharp Death Metal riffs and moments of Deathcore. It is literally the unholy marriage of those two styles incestuously put together into a single cut. At first listen its a little odd and perhaps even cringe worthy but it unexpectedly grows on you like a parasitic entity over repeated listens to the point at which you’re singing the clean parts and moshing the breakdowns. After an interlude that sounds very much like the kind of thing Winds Of Plague used to put into their works we get the second cut proper in “Blood And Stones“, which essentially confirms the stylings are throughout the record.

It has to be said that Mardy Leith’s vocal range is nothing short of incredible and this one seemingly takes a page from bands like Shadow Of Intent with searing riffs and blast beats galore hiding a rich melody deep within its blackened heart. The extremes push out a little more with “Terror Eternal” as the band have fun with the Power Metal parts that by this point perhaps have some Nekrogoblikon influences. Leith reaches some incredibly shrill notes that threaten to burst the ear drums while the soaring solo is as deliciously vibrant, that darker side of the split personality within the band always lurking in the background, waiting to strike. Whether the interludes actually offer that much is up for debate, the ones with a little background music are nice the others which are simply distorted demonic spoken word you could take or leave. Fully orchestrated, “From The Sky” is an absolute beast and a real stand out cut. Galloping drums during the clean vocal passages are almost inhuman in their energy levels, transcending Death Metal into Power Metal by the end with a huge breakdown section in the middle that has ethereal touches to add to the madness. The melding of the styles are the ultimate alchemy, the band very well versed in getting the balance right with “Undying” being the magnum opus, the ultimate grand finale. A powerhouse and tour de force of what this band are about, it has the anthemic chorus that deserves the Sidney Opera House as a venue while also having a skull crushing demonic brutality of power just waiting to surge through the veins [8/10]

Track Listing

  1. SUNLOVER ft. Jacob Wallace of Brojob
  2. Interlude I – Sturm
  3. Blood And Stones
  4. Interlude II – Nox Abbarath
  5. Terror Eternal ft. Jesse Lindskog of Dragonland
  6. Interlude III – Morrigale
  7. From The Sky
  8. Interlude IV – Drakketh
  9. UNDYING ft. Jens Thommek and Stefan Gorski Prins

The Drakketh Saga” by Dragoncorpse is out 10th February 2023 via Shattered Earth Records with pre-orders available over at bandcamp

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *