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  • I have to assume that you are curious or at least mildly interested in Therion, or you wouldn’t have pulled this review up. Therefore, I’d like to say some things before I get started. First I want you to have an open mind, not because Therion’s music is weird but because it isn’t weird. If you’ve got some preconceived idea that their music consists of brutal screaming, growling Death/Black metal, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. What is this music? It is thoughtful, lush, exciting, melodious, unique, bombastic, grandiose and classical. If you like your music simple, move on, you won’t like this. Therion’s music is complex, almost as complex as all of the symphonies or operas you’ve most likely heard. If you like or at least appreciate the classics, there’s a good chance you’ll like Theli. If you like your heavy metal with an edge and more progressive like Dream Theater or Yes, then you also might like Theli. If you like the classics and metal you can’t miss, you’ll love Theli. Theli and subsequent Therion releases combine Heavy Metal on one hand and Classic/Opera on the other perfectly by amalgamating these polar opposites into an amazing symbiosis. Therion started out recording heavy death metal. I know because I didn’t realize this and I ended up with one of those cds. It wasn’t awful but it was close. Then in the early to mid 1990s Therion grew up, er, started to evolve and boy did they change. It was almost as if they were the object of divine intervention. Theli, I believe, was the first of the heavenly inspired albums, I’m not sure, it could have been A’arab Zaraq Lucid Dreaming. I wasn’t exposed to Therion until late 2000 and then I was like the proverbial child in a candy store, five or six (I thought it was more since I didn’t know they switched styles) glorious albums to acquire without the usual one to three years wait in between. Therion’s leader/creator and inspiration is Christofer Johnsson. “He started to play the bass at the age of 15 and changed to guitar a year later. Therion in one form or another (known earlier as Blitzkrieg, Megatherion and other names) is the main band that has occupied him ever since he started playing, but he also made 3 albums with a weird psycho-metal band called Carbonized as well as some vocal performances in bands, such as the Swiss band Messiah and the Swedish band Liers In Wait. He has no formal music education and has never taken any kind of music lessons.” Well enough background. What is Therion? It’s hard to say. They really defy classification because they are in a category by themselves, the unique representative of a sub-genre we will call, lets see, how about Romantic, neo-classical, symphonic, operatic metal. Pretty long but definitely descriptive. Only one other group seems to come close to Therion’s style – Haggard whose 16 piece orchestra does have an operatic quality but unfortunately retains that questionable growling that is evident in “death metal groups” such as Sins of thy Beloved, Tristania and After Forever. I like all of the aforementioned groups but I love Therion. Comments From Christofer Johnsson: “Finally had the budget to do such an album I had been dreaming of doing for years! I used songs that I had written years earlier, but saved as there was no possibility to record them at those stages + wrote some new tunes to finish this album that was a long time dream of mine to do.” Like Haggar, Therion Also has a large orchestral presence, from which bombastic melodies arise from the musicians while choirs radiate enchantment with angelic voices. Interludes are carried by strings and and other magical ingredients. I have never heard anything quite like it, although some of the power metal bands are starting to use orchestras and choirs with good effect. A brief epitome of the songs of Theli can be seen below Info from CD booklet: Christofer Johnsson – guitars,vocals,keyboards Piotr Wawrzeniuk – drums,vocals Lars Rosenberg – bass Jonas Mellberg – guitar,acoustic guitar,keyboards Recorded January-March 1996 at Impuls Studio, Hamburg Mastered at Central Sound Studio, Hamburg Engineered by Gottfried Koch and Jan Peter Genkel. Mixed by Jan Peter Genkel. Produced by Jan Peter Genkel, Gottfried Koch and Therion. Mastered by Jan Peter Genkel. Cover Art, Layout, and graphic design by P. Gron. Dan Swano – vocals Anja Krenz – solo soprano Axel Patz – solo bass baritone Jan Peter Genkel – grand piano,keyboards & programming Gottfried Koch – keyboards & programming North German Radio Choir is: Raphaela Mayhaus – soprano Bettina Stumm – soprano Ursula Ritters – alto Ergin Onat – tenor Joachim Gebhardt – bass Klaus Bulow – bass Siren Choir is: Anja Krenz – soprano Constanze Arens – soprano Riekje Weber – alto Stephan Gade – tenor Axel Patz – bass baritone The orchestration on this album was made by The Barmbek Symphony Orchestra, samples and keyboards. In closing, I would like to point out that, the only thing extreme about this music is – IT IS EXTREMELY GOOD

    Posted on December 31, 2009