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Therion - Deggial CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.76 | 106 ratings

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4 stars My first excursion into the world of Therion and I've really enjoyed it. "Deggial" is a very powerful prog-metal album with lots to digest. You'll find speed, chunky power, operatic vocals, choirs, soft acoustic interludes, classical instruments, and plenty of magic and mystery. You'll also find melody in spades, the elixir that will make you fall in love with these strange little mini-operas.

"Seven Secrets" begins with one of the nastiest ominous riffs you've ever heard and the beautiful dark operatic vocals. Some will be put off by the "Omen" style vocals but after a little getting used to they're very cool and preferable to growling for me. "Eternal Return" begins with gorgeous acoustic before another catchy riff fires up leading to some lovely female vocals. "Enter Vril-ya" proves that someone in the band is a closet Malcolm Young fan, because 55 seconds in you will find rhythm guitars extracted straight from the Malcolm Young playbook. Hilarious. Sadly though it's one of the weaker tracks and also the one chosen for a sound clip here, so please don't write off the album because of the sound sample. There are far better tracks. "Ship of Luna" features violins with subdued background drums before plunging off the abyss into a dreamy acoustic fog, so nice. "The Invincible" is a mix of choirs and classical instruments eclipsed by a gorgeous acoustic guitar and drums around 2 minutes. Then the vocals come back in with the male and female vocals trading off, all very melodic and peaceful. And the rest of the album continues in the same vein. That's one thing about Deggial is that the sound is consistent throughout, so if you don't dig the operatic metal hybrid, you're in trouble. On the other hand, if you do you're in for a real treat beginning to end.

The highlight is probably the 9 minute "Via Nocturna part 1 and 2" which perfectly utilizes organ, strings, flutes, oboe, French horns, piano, and of course great rock guitar for the most fully realized example of what Deggial has to offer. Sweeping and majestic composition that competes just fine with that of their most talented contemporaries.

The metal here is really just the framework for the embellishments of the classical and choir stuff. Were those things not here, the metal below the surface would have to have more going on to be interesting to me. It isn't exactly "Remedy Lane" in terms of the rock instrumental complexity but with the embellishments it doesn't need to be. Because together the simple metal base and the lush embellishments create one of the most beautiful metal albums I've ever heard and it earns the 4th star by being able to combine delicate beauty with crushing heaviness all in the same moment.

Recommended to all rock fans, metal or not, who are looking for an interesting take on metal music. Something decidedly different from the other metal titles they may have heard in the past. The CD booklet will give you all of the lyrics which explore strange dark themes. No sappy fixed-grin lyrics here, these are dark and mysterious. If not to your taste then simply enjoy the music and ignore the lyrics.

Finnforest | 4/5 |


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