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Live Gothic (2 CDS + DVD)

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Therion Biography - Therion Discography - All Heavy Metal Bands


Two CD set includes DVD. With the success of 2007’s Gothic Kaballah and 2004’s Lemuria/Sirius B, Sweden’s Therion brought its enchanting and majestic live show throughout the world with stops in the U.S., many successful European festival gigs and a full European tour, including a concert in Poland which was professionally filmed for the Live Gothic. Nuclear Blast presents Live Gothic (2CD+DVD) which was recorded in Warsaw, Poland on February 14, 2007 and it features the touring band of mainman Christofer Johnsson and Kristian Niemann on guitars, Johann Niemann on bass and Petter Karlsson on drums. Live vocals were handled by Snowy Shaw (King Diamond, Mercyful Fate), Mats Leven, Lori Lewis and Katarina Lilja.

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  • WOW! Two female lead vocalists. Two male lead vocalists. Each with a great voice, unique personality and strong stage presence. Creative stage design with effective gothic lighting and props (candelabras, wrought iron fence, dark atmosphere.) Belly Dancing. And mind-numbingly creative and powerful gothic, symphonic, metallic music!!

    This DVD has got to be one of the top concert videos of 2008, and of all time. The sonic quality of the music recording is astounding: you can clearly hear each instrument and each vocalist, with lucidity and precision. The energy the band exudes is infectious. The clarity of the video itself is amazing: I see no pixelation, noise or artifacts. And even in the low light environment, you can still see the details of the musicians and the stage. And of course, the music is spectacular: Christofer Johnsson’s compositions never cease to thrill with mystery, imagination, and bombast; and the musicians bring it all about with exuberant passion, technical precision, and pure metal abandon!

    What’s really interesting to me is to see how Therion’s stage show has evolved over the years. After Therion first went symphonic, they used a (formal, classical) choir for the vocal parts. You can see this in the Live at Wacken 2001 videos. The music is powerful then, but slightly impersonal. Then, in the live at Mexico City 2004 videos, Therion retains the choir plus adds a male metal vocalist, Mats Leven, who helps give a strong sense of personality and focal point to the Therion stage show. Finally, on this live DVD, for the 2007 tour, Therion dispensed with the formal choir altogether and instead utilizes four strong rock front people, the guys Mats Leven and Snowy Shaw, and the gals Lori Lewis (from the U.S.!) and Katarina Lilja. I personally like this incarnation of Therion best, as the music is infused with scads of warmth, personality, and focussed energy! It’s especially awesome when the four of them stand together in the center of the stage for very strong ensemble singing, such as on Ginnungagap. In the past, the choir was always sort of lurking in the background. To me, it’s much better to have these four passionate, energetic and attractive (OK Snowy, ’til the end of the concert when you don a mostly shirtless costume – NOT a good choice) individuals as a centerpiece for the band in concert.

    If there were a criticism, it’s probably that the vocalist Snowy Shaw (who looks like a blond Alice Cooper) is so over-the-top in his metal performance (and garb, see previous comment), that some viewers could, umm, snicker a bit and say something about Spinal Tap. I really don’t want to be saying this, as I like Therion and this DVD very much, but I have to be honest here… However, the lovely and classy lady singers, easily make up for this small infraction. By the way, I have no qualms with Snowy’s vocal performance: he really adds a lot here.

    As a bonus, this DVD includes two CD’s holding the entire concert’s music, for playing in your car or your stereo (or for converting to MP3’s for your iPod etc.) At the price this all is offered for, you can’t go wrong! This is a package definitely worth buying. Cheers!

    P.S. As a side note, I can kind of understand that some problems may have occurred with the band. Four strong vocalists could lead to jealousy and rivalry. I mean, Mats was the star of the show on the Mexico City part of the Celebrators of Becoming DVD, but now, Snowy kind of steals the show, even though Mats is still in it. I can only imagine the types of problems this sort of thing entailed. Well, it was a great lineup while it lasted, and I’m glad they preserved this Therion lineup by making this terrific concert DVD. Don’t even hesitate to fork over the bucks for this one. (Unless you’re really poor. I don’t want to encourage fiscal irresponsibility!)

    Posted on January 7, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • As you probably know all Therion albums have a different sound. Same with the live performances. I wondered why they chose the title “live Gothic”, now it makes sense. This show has a Gothic Kabbalah progressive/Gothic style. The recording itself sounds more like a studio album than a live recording and this is a great strength but I also dislike it but it obviously has been edited in the studio a bit too much. Which is one reason in certain parts you can’t really hear the crowd singing with the music like they normally do.

    This particular show includes an all star cast. Probably the most popular Therion has had. The two primary singers are underground Gothic star Snowy Shaw who also performed on Gothic Kabbalah. He is best known for his work with the band Candlemass. Snowy’s vocals are very weird and more Gothic than is typical for Therion. The lead female is the up and coming American symphonic metal sensation Lori Lewis (of the up and coming band Aesma Daeva). The other two is katrina lilja, a formerly unknown singer who performed on Gothic Kabbalah and who has an incredible voice and we also have Mats Leven who has worked with Therion for a long time now. The bad news is there is no large choir as in previous shows, just the four team line up. Also there is no good male opera singer. You have an incredible female opera singer (lori) but for males all you have is snowy with his weird gothic metal singing and mats with his 80’s scream metal voice. Yes they try on occasion to sound opera, but they can’t do it very well. While their heavy metal screams will send chills down your spine they can’t hit the low notes either. For most songs that’s ok, but on songs like Arrow from the Sun that require a deep bass opera voice it leaves the song a little lacking. On the more metal oriented songs they put on a great performance.

    We also have the typical all stars playing: the neiman brothers on bass and lead guitar, “the drum king” petter who puts on an incredible drum solo during the show, and the hidden mastermind on rythem guitar Christofer Johnson. Recently they all left the band, leaving only Christofer from the original line up and possibly some of the same singers will do future work. They cited that they have different ideas on the direction the new albums should go and how the future shows will be performed.

    Overall this album is really good. As usual a few of the live songs are better than the studio recordings. Particularly Lemuria which was incredible. While I like the show and the live CD I’m not as fond of the more Gothic direction of this particular show. I still think Celebrators and the as of yet unrealeased Live with symphony and 20th anniversary tours will be more of my personal taste. If you are more into a straight forward rock/metal sound or a more opera metal you will like the CD but like I said it has more of a Gothic/progressive metal theme. Mainly in the form of the vocal performance of snowy.

    Likewise about half the songs on the album are from Gothic Kabbalah. The other half are mainly songs they do every show or a few fan favorites (Nightside of Eden, Lemuria, Arrow from the Sun). They do some pretty crazy stuff in this show though with a really improvised version of To Mega Therion and some wicked guitar and drum improvs (of course they were rehearsed but still improvs).

    Posted on January 6, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I have been a fan of Therion’s for some time, but was skeptical of buying this album for two reasons: first that it was a live performance, second that all the music from this set has already been released on other albums. I went ahead and bought it – it has rapidly become one of my favorite albums.

    -Despite being recorded live, the sound quality is not bad. Not on level with their studio recordings, but quite listenable. The crowd noise never drowns out the music, but the audience participation – shouting and singing along, encouraged by the vocalists – actually adds to the production. The performances are tight – this is a fabulous cast for Therion, and it’s impressive that they can perform this virtuosically live.

    -All of the songs have been recorded by Therion before, but these are different arrangements of the same music and are very different from the studio recordings. In every case I prefer the instrumentation and singing on the live recording here to the earlier studio one. In particular, “Wine of Aluqah,” “Schwarzalbenheim,” and “The Falling Stone” are much more powerful in the renditions given here.

    The disadvantages to this set are that it does not include the lyrics, and that the track names are difficult to read at all.

    Posted on January 6, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I must say that I enjoyed this DVD/2CD live a lot. So let me just say what I did NOT like about it and why I did not give 5 stars:
    - First of all, and mostly important, I was expecting a slightly better sound. OK… it is still an amazing production. The vocals (4 singers!!!) sound fabulous and the bass and drums are really POUNDING! But there are many times where the guitars sound rather “weak” and further back in the mix. This lacks the power a metal sound should have. With a little more attention in the guitars, the whole thing would have sounded 10 times better. But maybe this is just my personal opinion.
    - SONG TITLES! Come on guys… who designed the back cover of this DVD? Black background with dark grey letters??? Please have mercy… nobody can read a thing there!!!
    - The audience was not so warm.
    - This is just personal, but I was unpleasantly surprised to see that my favourite Therion song (“Typhon”) not included. Pitty!

    Other than these, the live is absolutely amazing. Fantastic production and performance by the group. Watching an 8 people band playing their best, and 4 top singers (2 males, 2 females) singing with such art and power… Truly unique!!!
    You will enjoy this even if you are not a Therion fan.

    Posted on January 6, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This set includes two CDs and one DVD, all containing live coverage of Therion’s latest tours. Half of these songs are new (from the “Gothic Kabbalah” album; they sing all of the good songs from it) and half are old (from various other albums), but all of them are great.

    This collection is particuarly good because, as live tracks, there are many variations in the percussion, guitars, and vocals. I think that some songs (like “Der Mitternachtsloewe”) sound better here than on from their original albums, due to better vocals or drums. In any case, even though you may have heard these songs before, the live versions are different enough to enjoy anew. Also has an awesome three-minute drum-solo track towards the end of the first disc.

    The discs themselves are of very high quality. The CDs sound smashing, and the DVD looks sharp and clear. The filming of the concert is solid, and the band’s performance is great to watch. It also has a bonus feature, “Drum Battle in Holland,” which is neat. The set also includes a nice booklet with a few good concert photos.

    Overall, it is a great set to have for any Therion fan. It may even be good for those who are unfamiliar with the band, since it is such a good compilation.

    If this review has not been helpful, feel free to leave a comment and tell me how I can improve.

    Posted on January 6, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now