The album opens with a melancholic interaction of a piano and synthesiser, the subtlety of which is reflected throughout the album. This is Paradise Lost's 5th album, and with each album the sound has moved from the pioneering Doom Death style to a more melodic Heavy Metal style. This album is at the peak of that progression. Funnily enough, the music on this album appears to fit the title really well (as if it were draconian times that forced the change of sound). The music is slow Heavy Metal, and there are some amazing flashes of brilliance, particularly in the guitar work. This is the feature that has always attracted me to Paradise Lost. Regardless of the kind of music that is present in the album, there are a few moments in there which make you go "wow!" My favourite tracks are Enchantment, Forever Failure, and Shades of God. While this album, relatively speaking, is definitely the most mainstream Paradise Lost have ever gotten, it is still a far cry from the stuff that is played on commercial radio. I definitely recommend it to any fan of Heavy Metal music, and if you liked Icon or Shades of God, this is definitely worth a listen.
The reason Forever Failure is one of tracks that appealed in Paradise Lost's Draconian Times is that it was reminscent of a darker Metallica. There was something ominous about hearing "I don't really know what sorry means" by Charles Manson, something that was missing on a song like Nothing Else Matters by Metallica for example (it also helps when it's not played a zillion times on MTV). However the version on this single carries that brooding feeling to higher levels by having a full string accompaniment. The lyrics and the haunting background music blend in amazingly well. The other two songs in the single (Another Desire and Fear) are somewhat extreme examples of Paradise Lost's songwriting. Though Another Desire deserved to be a B-side, Fear is a loose and fast-paced song that has grown on me. The Forever Failure track has additional production by Brian New (Cure/Dub War) and the other two tracks are produced and mixed by New. The change in producers (Simon Efemey has been producing Paradise Lost for a while now) lends a freshness to the music in this single. The artwork by Holly Warburton is brilliant, and serves to complement the melacholiness in the music. If you get this single, make sure you keep listening after Fear has ended---the strings are beautiful!