For people who used to like Therion for the death metal they played on their first few efforts, I think the golden times will never resurface. Those who thought the addition of choires and classical arrangements were the onset of the band turning crap will have to dwell forever in a life without Therion. Those who liked the way Therion evolved will simply have to part with whatever it takes to get the new CD, "Deggial".

Therion's latest not only contains a number of tracks like those on the excellent "Vovin" ("Seven Secrets of the Sphinx", "Enter Vril-Ya", "The Invincible" and "Emerald Crown"), but also features the rather fab "Via Nocturna (Part 1 and 2)", which is a much more classically influenced song, long, beautiful, tasteful, experimental, with unusual instruments, the climax of the album (now that was hardly a sentence that would satisfy any mechanical grammar check, or was it?).

Mr. Johnsson has again outdone himself, progressed, made yet another album that is worth listening, getting into, checking out thoroughly. He still combines metal chugga-chugga with classical influences seemingly effortlessly, lots of heavy sounding choires and talented classical solo singers.

Like on "Vovin" (where you had "The Wild Hunt"), "Deggial" contains a track with a guest vocalist. The track is this time entitled "Flesh of the Gods", Hansi Kursch is the guest vocalist, and this time it isn't half bad. Hansi sings a bit like Blackie Lawless, really, which sounds quite alright. The album closes with a tasteful version of Carl Orff's famous "O Fortuna". Although this isn't exactly heavier than the classical original (which is, when it boils down to it, heavy metal avant la lettre), it is well done and impressive. This, in fact, goes for the album as whole, too.

Click here to check out or buy this CD



Written February 2000


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