Album Title: Drakonian Paradigm
This is the first full-length album from Weapon, a Canadian band playing black metal.
The production on this record is much clearer than on the demo or 7" records; the murky, occult sound has been replaced with a crisp, low-end-heavy production that would have been at home on many of the Greek black metal records of the early 90s. Given the change in style on this record, this makes a lot of sense, but I can't help but miss the thicker, dirtier sound.
Drakonian Paradigm continues to develop along the path set down by Violated Hejab: the new songs here start with the Greek sound established by acts like Varathron and Rotting Christ, and add heavy-metal-influenced lead guitar parts and rhythmic, ritualistic vocal delivery. The result is both catchy and powerful, chock full of oblique, inventive riffing and shout-along vocal lines. Atmosphere isn't neglected, either; songs like "Drakonian Paradigm: The Flame Of All" have a genuinely twisted feeling, while others, like "Serpentine Ayat", are triumphant and aggressive. I especially like the shouted vocals, particularly on "Mortem Pyre" and "Cacophony! Black Sun Dragon's Tongue" -- the vocals on this record are truly exceptional, even more so when they switch off between the right and left channels! Comparing "Serpentine Ayat" to the original version on "Violated Hejab" really points out how much the extra attention to the vocals has improved this record. While I do prefer the guitar sound from their earlier releases, there's no doubt that the vocal production on this record is perfect for Weapon! The drumming also deserves mention: there are a ton of great fills on this record, and on "Remnants of a Burnt Mosque", the varied drumming really carries the song.
This is one of the best black metal albums this year; after Violated Hejab and Para Bhakti, I had high hopes for Drakonian Paradigm, and it blew them all away! This is killer stuff, especially for fans of old Greek and Czech black metal. Highly recommended.
Standout Tracks: "Cacophony! Black Sun Dragon's Tongue", "Serpentine Ayat", "Mortem Pyre (In Darkness And Blood)"