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Progressive Metal • Sweden

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Therion biography
: : : From Death Metal to Progressive Gothic Symphonic Metal : : :

This is one of the best metal bands ever and also happen to originate from Sweden :). In 1987 Christofer Johnsson formed a band called BLITZKRIEG. The band later changed their name to MEGATHERION and finally THERION and managed to get a record deal with the German metal label Nuclear Blast. Over the years the band has released nine full-length albums and the members of the band has changed several times. The true genius behind it all and undoubtedly the most important member of the band is Christofer himself - he writes all the music, plays guitar, hammond organ and keyboards as well as used to do the vocals. There aren't many musicians with the skill of this man in the world today but hopefully there will be more bands like THERION to erupt from this planet in the future. The first four albums are musically in death metal style but the band still developed all the time, adding new elements to their music for each new release - clean male vocals, arabic folk music, classic music and industrial. Their fifth album called "Theli" was very different from their first ones - Christofer finally had the budget to do the kind of album he had been dreaming of doing for years but didn't have the possibility to record it until now.

THERION had now become an operatic and symphonic metal band - mixing melodic IRON MAIDEN influenced metal with classical music composed by Christofer himself and with clear male and female choirs doing much of the vocals together with Christofer Johnson. You can hear the beginning of this development already on the "Lepaca Kliffoth" album but the difference in quality if you compare this with "Theli" is unbelievable. Since then they have continued in the same direction of opera metal. On these later albums Christofer has hired world class session musicians to play all kinds of orchestral instruments - violin, fluite, cello and so on - as well as female and male choirs to do the opera-like vocals. In 1997 they released a 10-year aniversary album called "A'arab Zaraq Lucid Dreaming", containing old non-released material, a few covers and a sound-track (pure classic music) Christofer did for an art-movie.

Among the female choir members you can find the great Sarah Jezebel Deva doing solo, duet, alto and soprano vocals. She has also helped out other great bands like COVENANT and CRADLE OF FILTH with her strong voice. On the "Vovin" album you c...
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THERION Videos (YouTube and more)

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Beloved AntichristBeloved Antichrist
Nuclear Blast 2018
$16.39 (used)
Nuclear Blast Americ 2000
$13.08 (used)
Secret of the RunesSecret of the Runes
Nuclear Blast Americ 2001
$15.00 (used)
Of Darkness ( LP )Of Darkness ( LP )
$25.95 (used)
Adulruna Rediviva & BeyondAdulruna Rediviva & Beyond
Multiple Formats
Imports 2014
$16.54 (used)
Live Gothic (2 CDS + DVD)Live Gothic (2 CDS + DVD)
Nuclear Blast 2008
$15.00 (used)
Lemuria / Sirius BLemuria / Sirius B
Nuclear Blast Americ 2004
$8.36 (used)
Les Fleurs Du MalLes Fleurs Du Mal
End Of The Light 2012
$21.25 (used)
Gothic Kabbalah (2CD)Gothic Kabbalah (2CD)
Nuclear Blast America 2012
$7.99 (used)
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2 days
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THERION discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

THERION top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.39 | 41 ratings
Of Darkness
2.36 | 45 ratings
Beyond Sanctorum
3.21 | 48 ratings
Symphony Masses - Ho Drakon Ho Megas
3.24 | 59 ratings
Lepaca Kliffoth
4.14 | 170 ratings
3.20 | 36 ratings
A'arab Zaraq Lucid Dreaming
4.08 | 163 ratings
3.11 | 51 ratings
Crowning of Atlantis
3.72 | 93 ratings
3.81 | 111 ratings
Secret of the Runes
3.86 | 124 ratings
3.83 | 114 ratings
Sirius B
3.56 | 96 ratings
Gothic Kabbalah
3.38 | 64 ratings
Sitra Ahra
3.22 | 53 ratings
Les Fleurs Du Mal
2.91 | 29 ratings
Beloved Antichrist

THERION Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 18 ratings
Live in Midgard
3.33 | 3 ratings
Therion ‎- Live In Mexico
2.65 | 20 ratings
The Miskolc Experience

THERION Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.16 | 13 ratings
Celebrators of Becoming
4.14 | 18 ratings
Live Gothic
2.80 | 5 ratings
Adulruna Rediviva and Beyond

THERION Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.14 | 3 ratings
The Early Chapters of Revelation
3.00 | 4 ratings
Atlantis Lucid Dreaming

THERION Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.05 | 2 ratings
Paroxysmal Holocaust (Demo)
1.10 | 2 ratings
Beyond the Darkest Veils of Inner Wickedness (Demo)
2.14 | 3 ratings
Time Shall Tell (EP)
3.91 | 4 ratings
The Beauty in Black
3.96 | 5 ratings
Siren of the Woods
2.50 | 2 ratings
Eye of Shiva
3.00 | 3 ratings
Bells of Doom
1.95 | 3 ratings
Wand of Abaris
2.80 | 5 ratings
Les Épaves


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Vovin by THERION album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.08 | 163 ratings

Therion Progressive Metal

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Vovin' (meaning Dragon) is Therion's 8th full length album. Therion's version of symphonic metal has always intrigued me as their music is not just symphonic, but it is operatic also. This is their best selling album to date, however, Christofer Johnsson always considered it his solo album, because he is the only band member from Therion performing on it. All other personnel on the album are guest performers. The choir consists of two of each of the vocal parts, namely soprano, alto, tenor and bass. There are also 2 soprano/alto soloists. All of the vocals are done by the choir, except for one track. The orchestra is The Indigo Orchestra which consists of 2 violins, a cello, viola, a double bass and a contrabass, though at times it seems like the orchestra is larger.

'The Rise of Sodom and Gomorrah starts off with repeated notes from the violins and a bass line created by cellos. At one minute, full on drums and guitar join the orchestra, and a male chorus sings which is soon joined by a female chorus. The orchestra riff is very exciting and fast tempo. Except for acting as a foundation, the guitars let the orchestra and the singers take the lead here.

'Birth of Venus Illegitima' is lead by the rock instruments, but with the choir still singing of course. As far as I can tell, only the rock instruments play on this one except for a short passage around the 4 minute mark. The vocals are more dominated by the male parts.

'Wine of Alluqa' is led out by cello and a tinkling piano, but a sudden burst of energy takes off early with equal amounts of energy in the regular instruments and the orchestra. The drums are fast, like in speed metal. The vocals are dominated by female vocalists this time. There are a few great guitar solos placed throughout the song. The guitar/violin riff is fast and energetic. Great track.

'Clavicula Nox' is a slower and darker track exceeding 8 minutes. Guitar and drums drive the song, and the vocals are sung by the soloists for the most part. A pounding bass accompanies a guitar solo before the choir joins in. The second verse and chorus repeats the same pattern. There is an instrumental break with some nice shared parts with guitar and orchestra. Even though this is structured more like a standard song, it is still quite beautiful and fulfilling.

'The Wild Hunt' is the one song done by any semblance of a lead vocalist, Ralf Sheepers, who has a high-tenor, gruff voice like Rob Halford from 'Judas Priest'. Except for the parts sung by choir, this one is a fairly straightforward up tempo metal song, but it all works very well together.

'Eye of Shiva' has a more mid-eastern sound to it. It is again a slower song, again led out by the soloists, with occasional backing from the choir. Except for a guitar solo at the 4 minute mark, the rock instruments remain restrained through most of this song providing the background and leaving the music to the orchestra and the vocalists.

'Black Sun' starts with a piano solo with help from the strings. The choir suddenly bursts in with a thumping bass and drums. This one is very dark and heavy. This track focuses more on all of the instruments, both the orchestra and the standard rock instruments. It is surprisingly stirring.

The next 3 tracks are the three parts of the 'Draconian Trilogy'. Starting with 'Part one: The Opening', which is instrumental except for a quick choir part with the orchestra and the guitars, no percussion. 'Part two: Morning Star' features a dark male choir at first, later the soloists take over. The music is driven by the rock instruments and the melody is very dramatic with some great vocals. 'Part Three: Black Diamonds' is driven more by the choir with all instruments providing only a foundation except the ending where stings and piano close out the trilogy. I have a slight problem with this trilogy mainly because it is too short and underdeveloped especially for a suite. I just felt the idea could have been better developed.

The last track is 'Raven of Dispersion' which is another dark track with a thumping bass and the male chorus again, later followed by the soloists. There are some strange guitar sounds going on in there, which seem a little out of place. The choir sings the choruses with the viola following their parts. This track seems to be one of the weaker ones on the album, which is too bad, because after hearing this album, you expect a huge ending, but you don't really get it.

So, overall, this is another great album of symphonic and operatic metal that fizzles out towards the end. The Trilogy would have been much better if it could have been fleshed out, and the last track comes off a little weak. Those things detract from a great album, unfortunately, but it still manages to be an excellent album overall. It's still good enough for lovers of this style of metal and lovers of symphonic rock in that it is not quite as loud as you might expect, but it still has enough metal in it to appeal to that crowd.

 Beloved Antichrist by THERION album cover Studio Album, 2018
2.91 | 29 ratings

Beloved Antichrist
Therion Progressive Metal

Review by proghaven

2 stars Yes Vladimir Soloviov was a very good philosopher. But this circumstance cannot compensate the flaws of the new album by Therion. Three hours of nothing. And the worst is that it's after six years of silence. Formulaic, primitive and laborious melodic themes, template arrangements, uniform performance of drums in all the songs... Very long, very pretentious and extremely boring. I remember Therion's glorious times: Theli, Vovin, Deggial, Lemuria, Sirius B... But since then they follow the same musical standard and most likely have exhausted its potential. It's like a soil depleted of nutrients. Sounded interesting and even intriguing when listened for the first time... and for the second time... and even for the hundredth time! - but now, after multiple self-repetitions in Gothic Kabbalah and Sitra Ahra, it sounds second-hand and set the teeth on edge. Just occasional flashes of originality amidst the darkness of triviality. The excess of pomp in composition and - on the other hand - the lack of ingenuity in melody making is critical. It's almost impossible to bear as much as three hours of this music. It hardly deserves more than thirty five minutes, and it would be the best possible duration for an album of this sort, of course if such an album is at all needed.
 Beloved Antichrist by THERION album cover Studio Album, 2018
2.91 | 29 ratings

Beloved Antichrist
Therion Progressive Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars There have been many attempts to blend rock with operatic styles over the years, with 'Tommy' being widely regarded as one of the most successful, but in truth that was much more of a rock musical than a real opera. Here Therion, or more accurately Christofer Johnsson, have created a three disc, three act opera, lasting somewhat over three hours. With some thirty singers, there are times when the music is opera, with or without some metallic influences, while at others it is more like symphonic metal. Overall, one has to say that it is an incredible achievement, totally subsuming metal into an operatic setting, and I am sure that they are incredibly proud of their achievements. It has worked so well that this is going to be performed in its entirety at various opera houses around Europe. There's only one problem for me, I don't like opera.

I can appreciate how clever this is, and if any band can claim to have moved more musically than Opeth it has to be Therion, but I just don't like it. True, it has been well recorded, the production and sound are great, and the layers are rich and complex, but while there are a few songs such as 'Never Again' which I enjoyed, they are very different to the album as a whole. I kept checking to see if the album was nearly finished, not initially realising that there are 46 songs here!

There are going to be many who acclaim this as an incredible work, and in many ways I agree with that statement, but just because it is incredible doesn't mean I'm going to enjoy it. When the album finished I had to wash out my ears with some Agoraphobic Nosebleed and Napalm Death just to feel cleansed and ready to face the next one. Yes, this is a true metal opera, or even an opera with metallic tendencies, but it just isn't for me and I wonder how many of their fans will feel the same?

 Beloved Antichrist by THERION album cover Studio Album, 2018
2.91 | 29 ratings

Beloved Antichrist
Therion Progressive Metal

Review by The Jester

3 stars Review # 81. This is one of the most difficult reviews I even had to write for many reasons. But I will try to do my best and be as objective as possible. A few weeks ago, the Swedish Symphonic Metal band Therion released its 16th studio album, which is a VERY ambitious (not to say pompous) piece of work. Beloved Antichrist is a Metal opera, based on Vladímir Soloviov's story "A Short Tale Of The Antichrist". The opera is separated into 3 acts (3CD's) and lasts over 3 and a half hours featuring 29 characters played by 29 singers.

As you can understand, one of the most important things about this album is the vocals. With so many different singers playing a big variety of roles, this is the thing you will notice first of all. Most of the singers have impressive voices and do an excellent job in their roles, but here lies one of the problems with this album. Because the impression I got is that this time the band seems to be a supplement to the opera, and not the other way round. It sounds like there are some musicians who are trying to support the singers and "dress" their voices with the music in the background. Another (big) problem is the length of the album. It is long, very long! 3.5 hours of Metal opera is not something easy to digest. It needs a lot of efforts and devotion in order to be able to appreciate what Therion are offering this time. First of all, you will have to stick to the story and try to follow the plot. Because otherwise, it is very difficult to understand what is going on. Speaking for myself, I tried to listen to the whole album 3 times, but didn't make it. So, I started playing each CD separately. I must admit that it worked better.

On the other hand, Beloved Antichrist is a very impressive album, including some very good songs, excellent guitar riffs, and great vocals! Maybe it's more opera than Metal, but that doesn't change the quality of it.

So, if you're looking for an experience in the perfect marriage of classical symphonic music and metal, you must look no further than this record. Put the album in your CD player, and get ready for the long journey that you're going to embark on. My Rating: 3.0 stars

 Beyond Sanctorum by THERION album cover Studio Album, 1991
2.36 | 45 ratings

Beyond Sanctorum
Therion Progressive Metal

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Despite being similar to its predecessor Beyond Sanctorum entailed a progression in the band's career.

Christofer Johnsson was focused on Death Metal back in 1991, but he managed to introduce some little elements which gave a glimpse of what the band would do in the future. But let's analyze the album song by song.

Future Consciousness is a death metal knock, typical of the 90's. Maybe the guitar solo is a bit more melodic than usual, while the next song Pandemonic Outbreak is also very heavy and unforgiving. Cthulhu is also very hard, with a bit more melody than the previous track. Nile comes to my mind while hearing this song! And that is not a bad thing.

But then comes Symphony of the Dead, a very surprising song with orchestral arrangements made simulated with keyboards, female choirs and another melodic guitar solo. Hearing this song is easy to preview future albums of the band. Maybe when they recorded this album this was just an experiment, but without a doubt this song played an important role on the band's future.

Beyond Sanctorum starts as a doom song, but then becomes to another typical death metal song. Nothing special. And also not special is Enter the Depths of Eternal Darkness despite its spectacular name. Illusions of life has mysteriously a worse sound, and so on with the rest of the album. Maybe a mastering problem? I don't know, but the second half of the record is worse in terms of production.

But luckily The Way comes next! Death Metal with soft oriental influenced melodies on it, a more heavy metal oriented second half of the song with an hard rock ending! 11 minutes for the most progressive track of the album. And maybe also the best! Paths starts also with a curious symphonic gothic feeling, which then derivate into another doom track.

And sadly, Tyrants of the Damned ends the album is a rather bland way! Just more typical Death Metal.

Conclusion: warning, Beyond Sanctorum is not a progressive or symphonic metal album. Is more a Death Metal record with some Doom and Gothic elements, but with a curious taste for arrangements, usage of keyboards and some progressive elements in some songs. Is not the style that made Therion big, but interessant nevertheless if you are a completionist of extreme metal bands of the early 90's or if you are eager to discover the band's evolution through the years.

Best Tracks: Symphony of the Dead, The Way, Paths.

My rating: **

 Lepaca Kliffoth by THERION album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.24 | 59 ratings

Lepaca Kliffoth
Therion Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars Although LEPACA KLIFFOTH is often deemed the transition album in THERION's sound to the fully formed progressive symphonic metal on "Theli" that launched them into the world's attention, THERION actually always took a more experimental approach even at their very beginning. While their early albums were clearly rooted in death metal with a hardcore punk attitude, they were still using occasional clean vocals and keyboards albeit more for embellishments than as a major component in the aggressiveness. Another step in their sound came on "Symphony Masses" which added elements of jazz, industrial, chants and more traditional sounds of metal. LEPACA KLIFFOTH (referring to the Qliphoth, the representation of evil forces in Jewish mysticism) simply changes the balance of the elements hitherto presented and adds some new twists and turns to advance their evolution into the symphonic metal of "Theli" and beyond.

While this album begins as rather straight death 'n' roll with occasional symphonic embellishments, by the time we get to the third track, the short and sweet "Arrival Of The Darkest Queen" we get a fully fledged folky symphonic sound that ushers in the band's first ever single "The Beauty In Black" which began their experiments with a sound more reminiscent of "Theli" with the emphasis on the symphonic elements that includes a female soprano, a male baritone and also on the melodic development rather than the aggressive chugga chug of the guitar riffage, so i would say this song is the true final metamorphosis of their sound. However, the next track gets cold feet and retreats back to a more death metal rooted sound. Thus the very nature of this one step ahead and two steps back approach on LEPACA KLIFFOTH is what makes this seem like a very scattered and uneven album.

Despite the dominance of the death metal sound, other influences find their way into the mix including Persian ethnic music, a much wider vocal approach as well as keyboards becoming more prominent. Some tracks like "Black" actually tie the past to the future with a beauty-and-the-beast approach that mixes death metal vocals with the female soprano. It also includes a Celtic Frost cover "Sorrows Of The Moon." I find the most interesting tracks to be the last two. The title track has a melancholic guitar intro that builds up into a heavy rocker that incorporates some of the strangest vocals on the album. The progressiveness also displays interesting technical drumming patterns with highly melodic guitar riffs. The tempo varies substantially and time sig changes are abundant and i love the metal chants of the ending. "Evocation Of Vovin" is an energetic little symphonic keyboard number that is probably the most "Theli-like" track on the album. This is an all-over-the-place album which as a cohesive album is pretty weak, but there are plenty of excellent individual tracks on here making it a worthy listen.

 Les Fleurs Du Mal by THERION album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.22 | 53 ratings

Les Fleurs Du Mal
Therion Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars Who would have ever thought that metal would come to this way back in the late 70s and early 80s when the genre was really picking up some serious steam? Symphonic power metal versions of French chanson probably didn't cross anyone's minds in those days, however in Sweden when the Mayan calendar turned over in 2012 it did. Of course everyone knows that THERION were innovators in popularizing their brand of symphonic power metal with the release of "Theli" way back in the 90s and have released one stellar album after another since but they have been seriously in danger of the whole thing becoming a little stale despite the high quality of interesting tracks they laid upon us. Well, on their 15th studio album LES FLEURS DU MAL (The Flowers Of Evil) they decided to unleash their romantic side by taking tracks by 60s and 70s French chanson artists and adding a healthy dose of Nordic aggression to make an unlikely combo.

The French artists covered here include France Gail, Victoire Scott, Serge Gainsbourg, Marie Laforêt, Sylvie Vartan, Annie Philippe, Isabelle, Léonie, Claire Dixon and Betty Mars. The cast of musicians on board is the regular army with six full band members plus 24! guest musicians adding all kinds of orchestral sounds like trumpet, flute, oboe, trombone, horn, cello, violin, accordion, mellotron and additional guitars and vocals. The sound is full and rich and extremely well produced. The clash of the modern symphonic metal world with 60s / 70s pop music really is a test of one's eclectic nature and acceptance of strange ideas merging into an unlikely union, but THERION manage to pull this off with ease because they are obviously professional and passionate about every detail of the music they put out.

I have to admit that upon first listen i was scratching my head with this one. There are tracks where the vocals are ridiculously over the top despite being more than impressive but somehow once my mind was blown way open i have to say that this works for me. This is a noble experiment that deserves a chance to shine but personally i wouldn't want to hear a repeat of this idea for despite my growing to appreciate it, it just doesn't quite hit me as enjoyable as pretty much all the albums since "Theli." So hopefully this is a one album fulfillment that doesn't have to be repeated. Still though an excellent experiment that takes a stab at the unlikely pairing of Scandinavian Viking sounds tackling the subtle intricate sensualities of a Romance language such as French. You probably won't hear French metal bands like Deathspell Omega or Blut Aus Nord taking this on! Pleasant listening and well done but still not quite as good as the albums ranging from "Theli" to "Sitra Ahra." 3.5 stars rounded up

 Theli by THERION album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.14 | 170 ratings

Therion Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars Having recently purchased the 2014 remastered and expanded edition, I have fallen under the spell of the mighty THERION with their landmark album THELI. This album has become one of the greatest representations of just how well a death metal band can retain the pummeling ferocity of their roots while totally integrating the symphonic tenderness of classical music and the pompousness of classical opera, thus in effect totally reinventing itself without losing what came before. After all, their very name THERION is a Greek word for "beast," and on this album THELI, which is the name of the great dragon in the ancient Jewish scripts of the Sefer Yetzirah, the band developed a totally new sound and although it can be a recipe that more often fails than triumphs, in THELI's case I would have to say it is an outstanding victory.

I think the reason why this whole thing works so well is because the band members didn't have the audacity to perform and create every new aspect of this music themselves. They incorporated a whole host of different players including not one but two choirs.... the North German Radio Choir and the Siren Choir. In addition to this we also get Dan Swano of Edge Of Santiy lending some guest vocals and many, many keyboardists covering a whole spectrum of sounds ranging from grand piano to symphonic progressive runs. Another wise decision was to incorporate the lyrical contributions of Thomas Karlsson as the sole writer of lyrics to provide the album with the esoteric feel that were derived from his mystical order called the Dragon Rouge. He would continue to be the lyricist from this point on.

On the remastered version we also get three bonus tracks, none of which are essential but pleasant as well as a DVD with the entirety of the album performed live in Budapest in 2007. A grand testimony to the efforts and ingenuity that went into the creation of this musical behemoth that hasn't aged badly at all and album that I love to listen to on regular basis. Mmmmmagnificent!

 Sitra Ahra by THERION album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.38 | 64 ratings

Sitra Ahra
Therion Progressive Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Therion don't quite sell out with this album, but it is undeniable that Sitra Ahra is vastly more approachable and accessible than the dense double album of Gothic Kabbalah, and they seem less averse to throwing in some entertainingly catchy hooks into their compositions than usual. It's certainly a far cry from the ugly occult symphonic death metal they started out with, but the purists parted way with Therion a good long time ago, and this release focuses on their symphonic strengths whilst simultaneously coming up with enough novel twists to keep things feeling fresh and vibrant and to convince me that maybe Therion still have a bit of gas left in the tank, even if they aren't going on a trip I want to ride on.
 Les Fleurs Du Mal by THERION album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.22 | 53 ratings

Les Fleurs Du Mal
Therion Progressive Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Therion get their Serge Gainsbourg on with this collection of generic metal-flavoured covers of classic French pop songs. It's an interesting experiment in exploring what metal can learn from this unexpected quarter, but all it makes me want to do is go listen to the originals rather than sit through these Therion-by-numbers adaptations of old material. I can sit through one or two of these at the time, but the schtick begins to wear thin after five minutes or so and perhaps Therion would have been better simply taking this style of songwriting and adding motifs reminiscent of the genre to original compositions of their own rather than adhering to the original tunes as strictly as they do here.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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