THERION - A’ARAB ZARAQ LUCID DREAMING - NUCLEAR BLAST
The reason why no one seems to know what the meaning of the title is might be due the fact that there is none. Officially billed as an EP, A'Arab is more like a full-length sampler of Therion’s material from the recent past. Divided into three sections, the first features a couple of unreleased songs representing the newer hard rock sound of the Swedes. There are several covers here from Maiden (the vocals simply do not cut it), Priest and Running Wild. The second section features "Therionized" material off the band's Theli album which now see guitars added. The album is rounded out by its longest section which is no more than tracks from the sound track to the Swedish amateur film The Golden Embrace which Therion, or rather Christofer Johnsson, has composed. Whatever your opinion of Therion might be nowadays (and I certainly prefer the death metal Therion of yore) it is Important to note that this is the new Therion and if its track record is anything to go by the band is not about to stop taking risks. - Ali "The Metallian"
THERION - SECRET OF THE RUNES - NUCLEAR BLAST
There are two points to consider with this album. First is the introduction of a concept called 'faded version'. The idea is to offer songs which fade out towards the end to disincent duplication of advance CDs. One wonders whether the label trusts the journalists and DJs with whom it works. If yes, then what are you trying to prove? If no, then what message does the manufacture of this CD imply? Perhaps then not sending out advance material might be a better idea! As regards Therion, a band that sold out and drowned in the feces of K&F (keyboards and female vocals) long ago, the bio's assertion that this has anything to do with, 'a return for Therion to both their Nordic and heavy metal roots' is a misrepresentation. Not only Therion's roots have to do with death metal of which there is none here, but the lyrical concepts on those early recordings addressed subjects like Coca Cola and the environment. Trust me for I have the demos, debut MCD and full length here. Secret Of The Runes features the same timeworn opera vocals sung atop of simple guitar riffs and is unlikely to appeal to a metal fan and really aimed at the readership of the big and glossy comics. - Ali "The Metallian"
THERION - LIVE IN MIDGÅRD - NUCLEAR BLAST
What is the point of a live album nowadays? Video technology has rendered the format irrelevant and the releases are used either as a ploy by bands and labels to fill a gap between albums or worse fulfill contractual obligations.
Chants of "Therion Therion..." kick off Live At Midgård, the band's first live album in fifteen years of existence. The double-CD has 24 songs and is released in conjunction with an upcoming video. The CDs are recorded at clubs and halls during the Secret Of The Runes Tour and comfortably feature Therion's standard symphonic elements overriding the metallic ones. The band's gothic and Middle Eastern influences are intact and coming across well on this release. The sound is good and the presentation befitting of what Therion is trying to achieve and portray. The release is workman like though, the band having chosen to not incorporate any special fare exclusive to the live record. Having said that there are complete songs sung by one of the female vocalists including a cover of Accept's Seawinds from 1979! While not a fan of Therion, this writer can appreciate the logistic and artistic effort needed to pull something like this off in the live situation. - Ali "The Metallian"
THERION - LEMURIA/SIRIUS B - NUCLEAR BLAST
If one could judge an album by its cover, Therion's two new albums would be some of the best ever. Lemuria and Sirius B are two new Therion albums released simultaneously by Nuclear Blast. The band has used 170 musicians in putting the albums together for the better part of a year. The albums represent a huge investment in time, vision and money and the results are appropriately expansive and diverse.
Lemuria is probably the more surprising of the two albums. While the albums are an amalgamation of operatics, the Classical, goth, Arabesque, industrial and metal, Lemuria features growled vocals courtesy of Christoffer Johnsson which is somewhat surprising. The other surprise is the Iced Earth riffing and vocals of Blood Of kingu. There is more material here than can be dealt with in any type of detail unless a book is to be written. To adequately get into these albums will be a work of dedication and passion.
Sincere congratulations belong to Johnsson and crew for having the ambition to compose and see through these two albums. Metal fans, nevertheless, should be careful with this material as the songs, as mentioned, will require an open mind like no other. - Ali "The Metallian"
THERION - GOTHIC KABBALAH - NUCLEAR BLAST
Fantastic, adventurous, superlative... opera rock!
Majestic, invigorating, energetic... male and female chanting!!
Dexterous, magnificent, overflowing... synthesizers!!!
Therion’s 2007 offering, entitled Gothic Kabbalah, should sell well in a Europe entranced by goth rock, Nightwish and Madonna’s high profile conversion to Kabbalah. Metal jurisdictions, however, shall find little here of interest.
Bonus: The chick in the back cover shot depicted as proving her metal merit by swinging a golf club!!!! - Ali “The Metallian”
THERION - THE MISKOLC EXPERIENCE (DVD + 2 CD) - NUCLEAR BLAST
This Miskolc, Hungary video and audio recording is of one of two shows Therion performed with an orchestra in 2007 - the other was in Bucharest, Romania. In the liner notes, Christofer Johnsson goes on and on about how he intended to use this opportunity to let an orchestra do its job and not have the band and metal, such as it with Therion, drowns out the orchestra. To that end, the first part of the DVD and the first CD, called Classical Adventures, doesn’t feature much of the band at all. The second part of the DVD and second CD, called Therion Songs, is the place where as the name indicates Therion songs are actually played and of course with the aid of the orchestra. The first part features the likes of Dvorak’s Symphony 9, Mozart’s Dies Irae, Verdi and Wagner mostly and intentionally in shortened compositions. At the end of it, all this is just something that never makes much sense. As The Miskolc Experience moves on it is not easy to bear a song called The Rise Of Sodom And Gomorrah being done classically. Playing with an orchestra may have seemed to be a dream for Johnsson and co., but this idea is neither original nor particularly effective.
The accompanying documentary shows the band preparing for this experience and they do not hide their nervousness at tackling this classical task and even label heavy metal as 'easy to play'. - Anna Tergel