THERION - "CROWNING OF ATLANTIS" (NUCLEAR BLAST)
Before the release of "Vovin", Therion's Christofer Johnsson (I think this is the first time I actually got his name right) treated the world to a collection of odds and ends in the form of the peculiarly entitled "A'Arab Zaraq Lucid Dreaming". "Crowning of Atlantis", a 50-minute EP, can be compared with that. It offers three new songs (now will or won't they appear on the next album is what we'd like to know), three covers, a remix of Vovin's "Clavicula Nox", and three live tracks.
For those who reckoned "Vovin" was a bit too symphonic and not heavy enough, bad news. For those who really got what they expected with "Vovin", of course, it's good news. The new tracks could have come straight off "Vovin", in fact. They have Therion's trademark drumming and guitars, with plenty of vocals on top. Vocally, there is a lot to be enjoyed on this album - "Clavicula Nox", for example, was re-recorded with male bass singers, which got me to utter a hushed "wow". Having said that, for a mysterious reason vocalist Ralf Scheepers has been employed once again to sing on "Thor" and "Crazy Nights" (two covers). Although his singing is less obnoxious as on "The Wild Hunt" on "Vovin", it's something I like a bit less about this new EP.
The covers (the aforementioned two, as well as "Seawinds") stem from Accept, Manowar and Loudness. "Seawinds" is a really beautiful track, with excellent female vocals. The three live tracks are from three different albums - "To Mega Therion" (with a woman doing the alto clean vocals), "The Wings of the Hydra" and "Black Sun". Good stuff for those who could stomach the direction Therion took with "Vovin".
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Written June 1999
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