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Therion - Deggial CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.76 | 106 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars OPERATIC METAL! Sounds like a contradiction of terms, doesn't it? Well, I suppose it was until January 21st of 1997 when, to the best of my knowledge, Operatic Metal was born, created, invented, whatever with the release of Theli: The album Theli was the fifth by the DEATH METAL band known as Therion.

Though Therion, as a Death Metal band, had a loyal following, they were at a dead end and on the ropes. Add to that the fact that band leader Chris Johnsson kept losing band members. You see Death Metal by it's very nature is self limiting and sometime poverty inducing but Johnsson is a visionary and he had been working on some new ideas and in a move that seems improbable in today's world, his small record company unconditionally released him from their contract so he could pursue his ideas with the much larger Nuclear Blast Record Company.

Things get even more improbable when the executive for the new record company gave Johnsson a large budget for his new project, ostensibly stating that he was interested more in the quality of music than profits!(record producers of America take note - product over profits).

And so on January 21st 1997, Christofer Johnsson's vision became a reality and for Therion it was out with the Death Metal and in with their new sub-genre Operatic Symphonic Metal for them and the benefication of the World. Now this was not truly Operatic music in the normal sense but with a confluent merging of Classical melodies and classical instruments with heavy metal and augmenting the singers with both male and female choirs, the sound is eminently Operatic sounding and it is delicious.

This review is about Deggial the fifth release by the reconstituted Therion and the tenth overall. Deggial was released in March of 2000 and is tied with Vovin as my second favorite Therion album. Things are moving along swimmingly. Christofer Johnsson is happy, the record company is happy, the band is happy, the fans, well most anyway, are happy. Of course there had to be a few from the Death Metal days that think, what's that cliche, they sold out. God I wish we could get a few American bands to sell out like this.

As you might suspect, with the cash registers chinging and clanging away that the budgets keep getting bigger and the productions are getting more elaborate. Now instead of classical ensembles, full orchestras are used. The Choirs have also grown in size and prestige. Therion (Greek for Beast)is indeed in a state ascending popularity and that is with a minimum impact from America.

I hope you can comprehend the enormity of Christofer Johnsson's accomplishments. Therion's new music is so different from their old music it defies comprehension. It's like a lifelong Democrat voting Republican. Like Johnsson got a sex change or a brain transplant. Like he has been possessed by the Ghost of Beethoven or Mozart reincarnated. Christofer Johnsson has become a musical savant. He is, in my opinion, one of Europe's burgeoning musical genii. Mysterious forces seem to be at work here.

Suffice to say, that should a group like Therion receive even a modicum boost from the media, though they may not hit top forty charts, they certainly could be as big as Yanni, Enigma or Dream Theater in America as well.

semismart | 5/5 |


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