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).