Album Review: The Drakkath Saga by Dragoncorpse (Shattered Earth Records)

Dragoncorpse will release their debut album, The Drakkath Saga, on the 10th of February via Shattered Earth Records.

Dragoncorpse is a death metal band that seamlessly blends elements of power metal and deathcore to create a truly unique and dynamic sound. The band’s operatic vocals and guttural screams are a standout feature, creating a beautiful contrast that sets them apart. Another being their use of symphonic elements in their music. Something not particularly common in death metal or deathcore but it adds depth and complexity to their sound, and allows them to explore new creative avenues.

The band members are spread out across various parts of Canada and the U.S, with the vocalist living in Australia. Despite the distance, they’ve managed to create a cohesive and powerful sound that showcases their individual talents and personalities.

With The Drakkath Saga, prepare to embark on a journey into the fantastical realm of dragons through a unique blend of power metal and deathcore packed full of symphonic elements, operatic singing, guttural screams, and heavy breakdowns.

Dragoncorpse The Drakketh Saga band
Photo Credit: Mardy Leith

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The Drakkath Saga comes with 9 tracks on it starting off with SUNLOVER featuring Jacob Wallace (Brojob) and brings the mix of sub genres straight to the forefront with a gorgeous melodic, almost folkish intro that suddenly explodes into a deathcore roar. The combinations that follow are, at first challenging because this isn’t the norm. But, it doesn’t take long to sync, moving quickly from being a challenge to being exciting.. Guttural, filthy vocals with stop start riffs and punchy rhythms that have you sitting happily in the core camp before suddenly we are nicely transitioned into powerful clean vocals and sweeping melodies on a grand power metal journey. The vocals, all styles, exude power and whether in the chunky riffing or soaring melodies, the guitars carry you along.

Should it work? Probably not on paper, we are talking about the opposite ends almost of the chain of sub genres but it does. A few seconds to get your conditioned brain into gear and you will find yourself fascinated by what Dragoncorpse have created.

We carry on in the album with Interlude I – Sturm which is an interlude of course. A one minute orchestral piece with growled spoken word over it. Blood and Stones follows and continues on with the intensely exciting mix of styles. Orchestral sections, growled vocals, soaring screams, chunky riffs, soaring melody and blasting drums all come together in a cacophony of chaos that is truly a wonderful experience. The verse vocals are so powerful, wonderfully clean and elevating. The switch into growls and aggression is smooth and you find yourself quickly engulfed in it all. The chorus has that touch of grandiosity it deserves and there is a banging solo paired with vicious drum and bass blasts. This is so enjoyable.

Interlude II – Nox Abbarath follows with an interesting mix of angelic choirs and orchestras over guttural spoken word passages. These interludes are being very cleverly used to tell the story and move things forwards, almost introducing the song that is coming. And so we head into Terror Eternal featuring Jesse Lindskog (Dragonland). A nice tempo with a bit of groove gets us going before the power metal vocals threaten to shatter glass and a gorgeous melody plays out. Suddenly, bang, here come the riffs, the threat and aggression with dark and dirty growls and headbanging rhythm. The back and forth between both styles is a little less anarchic here, coming more with a proper back and forth at the start.

It does combine beautifully at times too with the riffs bleeding into the power metal and the melody bleeding into the riffs. Some of the screams here get a little close to the edge of what I can bear in terms of pitch but it works in the context of the song. For me though, those lead guitar melodies and the massive dual guitar harmonising solo elevate this track from brilliant to fucking excellent.

Interlude III – Morrigale keeps the tale moving forwards with more orchestral sections, devilish spoken word and angelic choirs as From the Sky gets introduced. And following the pattern of The  Drakketh Saga so far, it is another banger. A fast and ferocious slab of genius that perfectly balances the demonic deathcore side with the intense speed and power of a more traditional power style. I love the orchestral backing, especially as it appears to become more prominent in the deathcore sections. The chorus, oh man, that’s how you do choruses.

So we close out our interludes with Interlude IV – Drakketh, a sombre violin led composition that nicely leads us into the final track, UNDYING which features Jens Thommek and Stefan Gorski Prins. The additional guest vocals add a slightly different flavour to the song, keeping things fresh as the chorus absolutely ignites a fire in you allowing you a moment to feel after verses that pummel you with their power and ferocity. I’m such a fan of this mix of styles, I love the different flavours on offer. Listening to deathcore backed by orchestras, power metal with blast beats – there is so much to enjoy and it closes out a phenomenal album in real style.

Dragoncorpse have unveiled a mind boggling, genre challenging work of art with The Drakkath Saga. It’s refreshing and exciting to listen to, taking all these different sub genres into the mixing pot and coming out with a style that truly is quite unique. The talent in the band, the ability to perform so many styles expertly is jaw dropping, The composition of the songs, the intelligently used orchestral elements and the clever Interlude structure also makes the whole album flow immeasurably well. I absolutely adored every second of the experience, maybe taking 30 to 45 seconds to adjust at the beginning because it defies expectation in a wonderful way.

Dragoncorpse have a real gem on their hands here and I cannot wait to see what they do next. Until then, I will be playing The Drakkath Saga a lot. Do yourself a favour, make sure you check this out.

You can grab a copy of The Drakkath Saga by Dragoncorpse on their Bandcamp, here.

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Author

  • Brendan Fisher

    Owner/Editor/Writer/YouTuber - Heavy Metal and reading, two things I have always loved so they are the two areas you will find most of my reviews. Post apocalyptic is my jam and I always have a book on the go and have for decades now. From a metal perspective, age has softened my inadequacies and I now operate with an open mind, loving many bands from many sub genres but having a particular admiration for the UK underground scene. In my other time, when not focused on Dad duties and work, I try to support the craft beer movement by drinking as much of it as I can and you will also find me out on the streets, walking. I love walking, I love exploring new places and snapping nature photos as I go.

The Drakkath Saga by Dragoncorpse (Shattered Earth Records)
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