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.