Lords of Metal review » Therion - Live In Midgard


Therion - Live In Midgard
Nuclear Blast

Horst: A few months ago I laughed my ass off about a remark Manowar singer Eric Adams made during a press conference in favour of the new Manowar release "Warriors Of The World". Eric was proudly boasting about the fact that Manowar was the first heavy Metal band ever to mix Metal with Opera… Apparently no one of the journalists present was brave enough to tell the little man about the existence of Therion. A band which does this trick for about ten years by now. With lots of success.

Anyway, our Swedish friend Christofer Johnsson together with his band of musical pretty skilful friends has released about nine full-length CDs by now. The first of those releases - ‘Of Darkness’ – could be labelled as pure Death Metal, but since ‘Beyond Sanctorum’ (1991) the band started to experiment more and more with different kinds of vocals, melodies, orchestration, Eastern and classical influences, which via albums like ‘Lepaca Kliffoth’ and ‘Theli’ materialised into the music we encounter on recent CDs like ‘Deggial’ and ‘Secret Of The Runes’.

After 14 years and different studio albums the time was ripe for a live record. Surely, those of you who have visited a Therion gig in the last three years must know what a cool event it is, with a truly unique interaction between band and choir – especially the trickery with the stage lights looked pretty clever. And the fact that half of the music (the classic parts) came from a DAT-tape… Well, it did not really bother me that much, although I would love to see Therion play some day backed-up by a complete Symphony orchestra. Too bad that this costs so much money…

Anyway, enough with the daydreaming. ‘Live In Midgard’ is doing its spins right now in my CD player, and I until so far I quite like what I hear. The recordings where made during the ‘Secret Of The Ruins’ tour on different locations in Germany, Hungary and Columbia. It all sounds pretty spontaneous, and even somewhat raw. As far as I can hear there isn’t too much done in the studio (you still can hear some little mistakes), but I would not have mind if they had pushed the audience a little bit higher in the mix, now it’s just like the band stood in front of only 100 people. The double-album is filled with 24 songs, which together give an excellent view of Therion’s development through the years. Every studio album – except for the first one – is represented. Now the majority of the songs come from the last six years, with as a result that the albums ‘Theli’, ‘Vovin’, ‘Deggial’ and ‘Secret Of The Runes’ each deliver four or five tracks. Nevertheless the gray past also gets a piece of the action through three tracks from ‘Lepaca Kliffoth’ (The Wings Of The Hydra / Riders Of Theli/ Beauty In Black), two from ‘Ho Dragon Ho Megas’ (A Black Rose / Baal Reginon) and even the antique tune ‘Symphony For The Dead’ (originally to be found on ‘Beyond Sanctorum’ from 1991) was dug out of its grave.

Besides the 22 self-written tracks there was also some room left for two covers, like that beautiful ballad from Accept – entitled ‘Seawinds’, and the super well-known Abba hit ‘Summer Night City’. Not a bad tune, but I had rather seen that absolute concert killer-track Therion used to play the last few times they toured Holland. Those of you who visited those gigs surely will know what I am talking about: ‘Revelations’ from Iron maiden. Man, the crowd at the 013 Club literary went insane when that tune as played, an awesome sight!.

…*sigh*… Ah well, you just can’t have it all I suppose. Right, the conclusion is simple. ‘Live In Midgard’ is a very good live album which captures the atmosphere of a Therion gig quite good. A must have for the fans…and for one Mr. Adams…





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