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Therion - Deggial CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.76 | 106 ratings

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3 stars I had ignored this album for the very reasons that Easy Livin pointed out in his review: I was amongst the fans that saw Therion gradually losing their originality and creativity. I had really enjoyed Theli and Vovin but a number of reasons had made me do big detours around anything called Therion from 1999 onwards: the repetitive approach of Vovin, the stop-gap called The Crowning of Atlantis and the assembly line product Lemuria/Sirius B.

As I had expected, there's nothing on offer that we haven't heard on other Therion albums, but the crunchy guitar work from new axe man Kristian Niemann is good improvement. His galloping NWOBHM riffs kick Therion out of its imminent lethargic state. In fact, due to its energy boost, this album sounds more like a follow up for Theli then Vovin did. The songs have a lot more metal punch in them and there's more variation.

Next to the guitarist, also the choir and orchestra are a real treat and generally, Therion sound like a band having lots of fun at what they are doing again. The opener Seven Secrets is the best song on the album and serves as an excellent example: crisp guitars, big choir arrangements and good melodies. Eternal Return goes for a more gentle approach, a bit musical-alike at times but with occasional up-tempo parts that seem to come straight out of Iron Maiden and Rainbow albums.

Enter Vril-Ya is a classic hard rock stomp. As usual with Therion, they know how to make the most out of a simple idea. The choir is really excellent here, dark and menacing. In fact, as the closing track of the album proves, it all seems to come right out of the Carmina Burana: songs about drinking, lust, gluttony and similar types of medieval fun.

The quality goes a bit up and down. Some songs like Ships of Luna and The Invincible rely too heavily on the effect made by the overwhelming arrangements and big choirs , probably in order to hide that the songwriting isn't all that impressive really. Still, there are good moments, like Deggial that saves itself from anonymity by a good tempo change at the end.

The short Lord of Flies is a little energetic piece and one of the highpoints. With Flesh of the Gods they put in a stab of shameless hairmetal that is simply irresistible. The fun they had with this one is no less than contagious. Via Nocturna is a typical Therion track that I've simply heard too much by now. They handled the Orff cover O Fortuna with their usual good judgement, not too bombastic (a relative thing), with just some celestial rock drums accompanying the choir and orchestra. Works for me.

From this album onwards things declined rapidly for Therion. The following albums might still appeal to die-hard fans or to people not familiar with Therion, but for anyone else they're unnecessary. The conclusion stands that Therion stopped evolving after Vovin, but with Deggial they at least added a nice selection of songs to their canon. Not their best but a good album nevertheless and not a bad start for Therion newbies.

Bonnek | 3/5 |


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