Most helpful positive review
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 10 May 2008
Therion - my appreciation for this band grows by the day. Easily the strongest of all the Symphonic Metal bands & maybe the most talented modern metal band period!
This 1996 release (the 4th studio album) marked the start of what is generally recognised as a golden age. Its loaded with experimentation & some of Christofer Johnsson's finest compositions. A true renaissance man!
Generally, symphonic metal works best when a real orchestra can be applied. Therion had yet to reach a financial level where they could afford this so they had to use the standard keyboards & synthesizers to create the orchestration and the results are stunning. Everything sounds authentic & i would believe it was all real instruments if i didn't know otherwise. Christofer J really knows how to compose & arrange and his keyboard skills match his guitar work. There is some magnificent Grand Piano work & i cant think of anyone else who matched this in 1996.
Lets not lose sight that this is a METAL album & the album is packed with powerful,sometimes brutal riffs, emotive solos, pounding drums and clear,technical bass guitar.
Lead vocals are by Johnsson with more melody & controlled aggression than before & he is backed by a fantastic choir, both male & female, marking the full emergence of the 'opera' style.
Lyrics are dark & occult based (what do you expect with the Egyptian god, Set on the cover) & compliment this powerful yet beautiful music.
Production is excellent (as usually the case for anything released on Nuclear Blast)and set the standard for the following releases.
PRELUDIUM - This is a short instrumental with a great sense of atmosphere and some VERY eerie keyboard effects. A brilliant composition & one of the best intros i've ever heard.
TO MEGA THERION - Really OTT choirs, great vocals from CJ & heavy riffs.
CULTS OF THE SHADOW - Fabulous arrangements, just a great track!
SIREN OF THE WOODS - The Epic track! Nearly 10 minutes of beautiful music, starting off with some haunting acoustic guitar & chilling female vocals, this just builds & builds to one of the greatest climaxes ive ever heard in music - the guitar melodies & leads almost had me in tears on first listen, and i really do mean that! Absoluteley gorgeous!
GRAND FINALE/POSTLUDIUM - Instrumental that Metallica would love to have written, really classical feel to this, really catchy too!
These are only the highlights, every song is almost of equal standard.
I despair when i know that there are Metal fans who have never heard of Therion. My first taste of the symphonic genre was Metallica's S&M - As great as that album is, Therion take the concept MUCH further.
This album cannot dissapoint any genuine Metal lover & i reckon even purely classical people could get into this band...