Written by Barlovv
Dragoncorpse – The Drakketh Saga
> Released February 10
> Lethal Records
“Hide me from the sun
Drown me in the dark
And pray all that I’ve done
Won’t see the light of day”
Power metal and deathcore, seemingly incompatible, two sides of a genre coin: high, clean vocals and self-serious gore and violence. How could it be possible to bring the two together – and what’s more: should they be brought together? Is it worth doing just be cause we can? These are questions you might ask someone (me) trying to tell you to listen to this album, and the answer to them all is…
… shut the fuck up and listen to this Dragoncorpse album.
If you know me, I’m sure my reviewing this album is not a surprise. A lover of the big, dumb, cheese – this would appear to be an album made specifically for me and no one else. Honestly though, this was not a guarantee. What really brought this album into my ears initially is that absolutely stunning album artwork. If not for that, I might have heard “power metal and death metal” and just shrugged and moved on. Thankfully, Dragoncorpse have a fucking banger of an album cover here (wish they had posted the name of the artist somewhere!), and I’m hoping it draws people in the way it drew me, because friends, The Drakketh Saga fucking rules.
The fact that this is only a 24-minute EP is kind of the worst thing about it. It does a lot of work to make this a cohesive(ish) tale, complete with interludes that progress the plot, and honestly it could stand to be twice as long. Here’s hoping that’s what is in the works, but the fact that it’s short is my one complaint, and it’s kind of a weird complaint I know.
Drakketh opens with what I would describe as a pretty masterful misdirect. An acoustic Ren-fair-esque introduction that kind of lulls you into an assumption that this is going to just be power metal, before pulling the rug and immediately combining some really gnarly screams with extremely delightful clean vocals. The whole thing coming together in some fun cheese, and this doesn’t seem lost on the band, who are embracing the goofiness both on the album and across their “dragussy” merch offerings.
What really helps Dragoncorpse, in my view, is that this doesn’t come off as a band deliberated making something dumb to be dumb, but rather there is a sense of real sincerity throughout. It’s not spending half the time reassuring the audience that, actually, the band is super cool and “lol how dumb is this”. There’s a respect paid to the mashed up genres, and a level of skill on display to pull it off. Taking the goofy thing seriously is kind of the best way to do something like this and it feels like folks really don’t get that. It’s why everything after The Room or Birdemic was so tedious as the creators tried to be dumb on purpose. All of that said, comparing this to bad movies is completely unfair, because as I mentioned before there is a metric fucking ton of competence on display. Vocally and instrumentally, this thing absolutely rips and never feels dull or like it’s outstayed its welcome.
While I understand the interludes, and what the album is going for in using them, it does hold it back in a way. Filling the running time of the EP with these scream-spoken pieces does kind of kill the momentum in a way that it might not in a longer piece. Its not enough to change how much I fucking love this album, but it doesn need to be said I think.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Look, The Drakketh Saga is easily the most fun I’ve had this year and I fucking can not wait for these guys to bring out a full length. I can only imagine what might be in store and I am sincerely excited. The thing rules end to end, and I never knew how badly I needed this confluence of genres to exist. Get the fuck on board and go support these dudes so I get more albums like this.