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Therion - Symphony Masses: Ho Draken Ho Megas

1993 Nuclear Blast Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-14

While not quite as adventurous as either Lepaca Kliffoth or Theli, Symphony Masses does tend to stir things up quite a bit. Christofer Johnsson still keeps his death vocals through most of the recording, but there is a huge emphasis on keyboards and orchestration here. I hear a lot of Iron Maiden in the guitar work, which rides on top of the death riffs and overall feel of the album. There is a lot of really cool stuff going on at once, but never alienating the listener. The musicianship is demanding here, and everyone involved seems competent enough. The bass especially stands out for me on a few tracks. Some of the later songs on the album sound pretty industrial doomy, as in Laibach and Test Dept. Another interesting album from Therion, this is actually the first one (it seems to me) where they started to really branch out stylistically. This is also the heaviest of their three experimental albums (SM, LK and Theli).

Therion - Lepaca Kliffoth

1995 Nuclear Blast Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-14

Truly gothic Death Metal here, as Therion go one step forward from Symphony Masses to fuse orchestration, keyboards strings/woods and choir vocals together in one big ball. There's something catchy here though, because every time I think of playing it, all I remember are the choir voicings, which I don't particularly care for. The music, however, is magnificent. Johnsson does a really good job of putting everything together, and while it does go overboard at times, it also works very effectively. Death metal for the extended family? The guitar lines are sweeping, and the whole album is very classical and emotional. An additional positive note is that there enough variation over the album, and even through each song, that if one piece irratates you, it'll be gone in a minute. Therion also keeps enough of the heaviness to keep old time listeners. A truly unique album from one of the more adventurous bands today.

Therion - Theli

1996 Nuclear Blast Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-14

Theli has been hailed by almost all as the apex of Therion's career, and I must agree. It is here that the vision they displayed on their prior two releases is truly realized. I guess that Nuclear Blast took a huge gamble and invested over $40,000 dollars for hiring the North German Radio choir! The result is an album of epic sound and proportions. A lot of this is due to the upped production, Harris Johns is a fine thrash metal producer, but much as he deadened the overall sound of two Voivod albums (Killing Technology and Dimension Hatr?ss), I think he held Therion back. As with Lepaca Kliffoth, Chrisofer Johnsson does an excellent job with the orchestration, also opting to leave the majority of the non-choir vocals to Drummer Piotr Wawrzeniuk and Dan Swan?. There are only two spots on the album where I feel that things went too far, but they only last about one minute over the span of a 50+ minute album! I think that you will either find this godly or unltimately cheesy, and I choose the former. Another step in expanding the world of metal and easily one of the best albums of 1996.