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Therion - Symphony Masses - Ho Drakon Ho Megas CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.33 | 54 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Dragon on and on

Two years after the release of "Beyond Sanctorum", Therion returned with their third album. Do not be fooled by the "Symphony" reference in the title, the band are not yet ready to make the career defining change which will find them embracing their trademark operatic sounds; this album remains rooted in the death metal of their previous efforts. The title "Ho Drakon Ho Megas" comes from the Greek for The great dragon, a pointer towards the mysticism hidden within the lyrics.

The line up is almost completely different this time around, with only band founder and leader Christofer Johnsson remaining. The band becomes a quartet with Magnus Barthelson coming in on lead guitar and a new drummer and bassist. Johnsson once again tackles keyboards in addition to his vocal and guitar duties. He describes the album as the bands "most experimental", but I would suggest this is a simply a way of saying "diverse". Little real progress is made here though, the songs being a succession of riff driven growl fests.

On "Symphoni drakonis inferni" there are hints of something a little different, with quasi- symphonic overtones and brief choral keyboard vocals. The intro to "Dawn of Perishness" has a Black Sabbath feel to it, the crowd cheers apparently being a studio addition. The song itself is a bit of a mess though, saved only by some infectious riffing.

"The Eye of Eclipse" has the band's most inventive intro to date. It is all a bit contrived, and inevitably leads to more riffs and growls, but it does hint at something more interesting. "Powerdance" is the most diverse of the tracks being a brief "Zorba's dance" like instrumental to lighten the mood. The final two part title track includes some decent lead guitar soloing but ends all too soon.

In all, an album which is very much an acquired taste. Even those who appreciate the death metal style may find there is a little too much diversity here while those with only a passing interest may feel they have heard it all before.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |


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