Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Progressive Metal

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Therion Of Darkness album cover
2.48 | 46 ratings | 8 reviews | 9% 5 stars

Collectors/fans only

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 1991

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Return (5:15)
2. Asphyxiate With Fear (4:00)
3. Morbid Reality (6:05)
4. Megalomaniac (4:10)
5. A Suburb To Hell (4:47)
6. Genocidal Raids (5:15)
7. Time Shall Tell (5:07)
8. Dark Eternity (4:45)

Total time 39:24

Bonus tracks on 2000 remaster:
9. A suburb to hell (demo version)(5:19)
10. Asphyxiate with fear (demo version)(4:41)
11. Time shall tell (unreleased version)(4:06)
12. Dark eternity (unreleased version)(4:19)

Total Time: 57:49

Line-up / Musicians

- Christofer Johnsson / vocals, rhythm guitar
- Peter Hansson / lead & rhythm guitars
- Erik Gustafsson / bass
- Oskar Forss / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Gary Querns based on Johan Losand & Rikard Olund work

CD Deaf Records ‎- DEAF 6CD (1991, UK)
CD Nuclear Blast ‎- NB 580-2 (2000, Germany) Remastered with 4 bonus tracks, new cover
CD Peaceville ‎- CDVILED680 (2018, Europe) Remastered

LP Deaf Records ‎- DEAF 6 (1991, UK)
LP Peaceville ‎- VILELP680 (2017, UK)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy THERION Of Darkness Music

More places to buy THERION music online

THERION Of Darkness ratings distribution

(46 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(9%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(11%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (37%)
Poor. Only for completionists (28%)

THERION Of Darkness reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Of Darkness... is the debut album from Swedish death metal act Therion. Therion had released two demo tapes and an EP before the release of this album, so itīs not exactly the first release from the band. Most people in progressive circles know Therion for their later more progressive operatic metal, but I remember when Of Darkness... came out in 1991. I was heavily into death metal in those days, and of course that included the very dominant/ influential Swedish death metal scene with bands like Entombed, Dismember, Unleashed, Grave, Carnage and of course Therion.

The music on Of Darkness... is pretty typical old school Swedish death metal with both fast paced and more mid-paced down-tuned metal riffing. The vocals are very brutal growls. The songs donīt differ much from each other so if you like the first song The Return chances are that you will enjoy the rest of the album just as much. There are not many melodic elements in Therionīs sound on Of Darkness... but a few melodic guitars do mean that the album become a bit more varied than what initial impressions might imply. In addition to the original songs from the album the 2000 re-release also include four bonus tracks taken from the Time Shall Tell EP (1990).

The musicianship is good but not outstanding in any way. I like the brutal vocals though. Vocalist Christofer Johnsson sounds like he means it and thatīs a quality Iīm always after when listening to music with growling vocals.

The production is actually very good for the time, but the album has been re-mastered in the 2000 Nuclear Blast version that I have ( from the The Early Chapters of Revelation Box- set), so maybe the original version didnīt sound this well. I simply canīt remember.

Of Darkness... is an enjoyable album if youīre a fan of the early nineties Swedish death metal scene but even for that genre the album does get a bit trivial along the way and I canīt give it more than a 2 star rating.

Review by The Crow
2 stars First Therion's release, completely into the purest death metal!

Christopher Johnsson and his early fellows recorded this album in only a few days, and it was a little success in the death metal scene... This songs have all that a true death metal fan can desire: tons of growls, bass wich sounds like a thunder, fast guitars offering impossible riffs, and powerful drums.

So you will not find any prog here... The first three albums of the band are very very far from the music that Therion (aka Christopher Johnsson...) makes today. It's only death metal... And "Of Darkness..." works like a death metal album. It's not boring, mainly because the band tried to use some doom in the style of Celtic Frost, and some blast beats moments wich remind me to the grindcore of bands like Carcass. But if you don't like the old extreme metal, you'll find it horrible!

Best songs: Morbid Reality (here we can find some Celtic Frost influences...), Genocidal Raids (I like the doom intro...) and Dark Eternity (the most melodic track of the album)

Conclusion: this is an album only recommended for classic Death Metal fans... It has nothing to do with the style of music that Therion has made since "Lepacca Kliffoth". It's just authentic Death Metal in the vein of Death's "Screaming Bloody Gore", or the first Morbid Angel albums. So if you like this kind of stuff, then "Of Darkness..." is a recommended album. But if you are searching for symphonic or prog metal elements, then avoid it as quickly as you can.

My rating: **

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars The pre-theatre menu

The career path of Therion is similar to that of Anathema in that it was only after they had released a few underwhelming death metal albums that they reinvented themselves as a high quality theatrical/operatic band. Formed in 1987, they went through a couple of names before settling on the abbreviated Therion. The word comes from the Greek for (a biblical) "Beast", the inspiration for its use coming from a track by the band Celtic Frost. The guiding light of the band has always been the multi talented Christofer Johnsson, here listed as the sole composer, lead vocalist, and rhythm guitarist.

A trio of privately released EPs preceded this album, which itself contains songs written between 1987 and 1989. It took until 1990 for these to be recorded, with this the official début album appearing the following year. This would be their only release on Deaf Records.

It should be said upfront that anyone coming to this album seeking the magnificent operatic metal of Therion's main career will most certainly be disappointed. A glance at the line up indicates a complete absence even of keyboards, let alone choirs and orchestras. Even before that, one look at the sleeve will confirm that the word "subtlety" is unlikely to be needed in a review.

Turning to the music on the album, the previous mention of Anathema becomes even more pertinent as the opening song "The return" explodes on the ears in a burst of thrashed guitar and growls. There is actually a slight element of melody to the growls here, but they remain very much an acquired taste (or in my case, yet to be acquired!). The guitar work is certainly impressive as long as it is remembered that it is thrashed chords, not lead guitar soloing.

Generally the pace of the tracks is upbeat, avoiding the drudgery of slow drawn out death metal. The tracks do however have a tendency to all sound the same, the lack of options in the line up and the band's self inflicted parameters combining to cause this.

For the traditional prog fan, music such as this is the antithesis of our genre just as much as punk is. Personally, I find small doses of the music just about bearable. Not my preferred choice of listening by any means though.

The re-release of the album adds 4 "bonus" tracks, these being two demos and 2 unreleased versions of tracks on the album. Since the final versions of the tracks are basic enough, these extras are of little value.

Review by Warthur
2 stars Though it came out in 1991, apparently the songs on Therion's debut album were composed between 1987 and 1989. I can well believe this, since this is fairly primitive death metal material which is competently delivered - as you'd expect for songs Therion had been refining for a couple of years before they entered the studio - but which doesn't really display much in the way of creativity. More or less anything the band do here was done better by earlier death metal pioneers like Hellhammer, Celtic Frost and Death - or, for that matter, the then-latest wave of death metal as represented by the likes of Deicide or Morbid Angel.

Though Therion would eventually find a distinctive sound through the incorporation of symphonic and gothic influences, there isn't a whisper of either on this album, leaving it a decent but disposable example of straight-ahead death metal which would probably have been entirely forgotten were it not for Therion's subsequent achievements.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
3 stars Although THERION which emerged from Upplands V'sby, Sweden are considered one of the pioneers of mixing metal music with full-blown arrangements of orchestra instruments, choirs and classically trained musicians which created an entire new section at the metal supermarket called symphonic metal, the band began as something completely different. From the start, the THERION project has been the baby of founder Chritofer Johnsson who started this band all the way back in 1987 only under the name Blitzkrieg but would soon change it to THERION which was mined from the Celtic Frost album 'To Mega Therion' with the moniker being the Greek word for 'beast.' And that's exactly what this early version of THERION was all about, namely extreme bestial metal that fell squarely into the death metal world.

While the band's sound was inspired by the thrash metal of early Metallica and Slayer, the band was more attracted to the occult themes of early Venom and the punk infused fury of Motorhead. After a couple of demos titled 'Paroxysmal Holocaust' and 'Beyond The Darkest Veils Of Inner Wickedness,' THERION released one 7' demo turned short EP in the form of 'Time Shall Tell' however that musical specimen became irrelevant since all of the tracks were included on this debut album OF DARKNESS. In fact most of the tracks on this first offering were pretty much left over from the late 80s which must've given it a very proto-death metal sound considering it emerged in the year 1991 when the death metal sounds of Morbid Angel, Death, Atheist, Incantation and too many more to count had already evolved into myriad different directions.

Considering what THERION would become in a few short years when the lauded 'Theli' was released in 1996, there is really absolutely nothing at this stage to connect it to that groundbreaking fusion of disparate musical styles. OF DARKNESS pretty much plays by the old school death metal book of the late 80s with heavily distorted guitar riffs churning out at breakneck speed, the occasional Morbid Angel guitar squeal solos, blastbeat drumming frenzies and of course the posted by Satan guttural growls which unintelligibly morbidity, perversion and general dystopia. The tracks were all mined from the 1987-1989 timeline so this was pretty much a get it recorded and put out already type of album that served as getting the band's name out into the greater extreme metal world.

By today's standard's this one sounds pretty generic for all its ferocity and stellar musicianship that at this stage included Johnson on vocals and guitar, long THERION lead guitarist Peter Hansson, Oskar Forss on drums and Erik Gutafsson on bass. Even on the remastered versions of OF DARKNESS the eight original tracks still sound like demos that have merely been spruced up a bit and newer versions also contain some of the other demo versions. At this point there are zero clues as to where THERION would take the metal world and unfortunately OF DARKNESS despite it's adequate job of cranking out quality death metal doesn't quite muster up the songwriting chops to create memorable tracks that stand out from one another therefore this debut is nothing more than an incessant rampage of riffs and blastbeats gussied up with hissy fit vocal rage. If the fully matured symphonic metal stage of THERION is where you want to start then skip this noisy beginning and head straight to 'Theli.'

Latest members reviews

5 stars Three characteristics are present on this album, the first offering by the masters of the heavy, dark and atmospheric, Therion. Each song is a gem in its own right; there are no fillers, as each song had been previously recorded in some form. The boys had time to work on their skills, with the va ... (read more)

Report this review (#202258) | Posted by Mogorva | Tuesday, February 10, 2009 | Review Permanlink

1 stars This debut album consists of songs written in 1987-89, a bit like a compilation from the very early years. It is brutal death metal from beginning to end, and only fans of the genre will appreciate that album. As a great Therion fan, I strongly encourage to skip this album completely and star ... (read more)

Report this review (#66568) | Posted by zaxx | Tuesday, January 24, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Sometimes there are "Overlooked CLASSICS" in rock music...this is such an album ! Consider Christopher Johnsson was only 18 (!) years old..... consider the mature musicianship.....consider the INCREDIBLE changes in tempo / rhythms.....consider the double lead guitar harmonies..... Recorded ... (read more)

Report this review (#31007) | Posted by | Tuesday, June 15, 2004 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of THERION "Of Darkness"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.