Therion - Deggial

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Nuclear Blast America
Catalog Number: 27361-64422
Format: CD
Total Time: 57:59:00

While many bands are doing it, some well, others not, the first real player in classical/opera/metal fusion was Sweden's Therion. Having bored of its thrash roots, this amazing band went full circle and found its true talents in the symphonic brilliance of an emerging new genre within progressive metal.

Classical music combined with metal is now hot. Christofer Johnsson, Therion's mastermind, states that his work is meant as a tribute to the true masters: Guiseppe Verdi and Sergei Rachmaninov. He claims that Deggial is his first album not to rely on synthesisers for any of the classical sounds. All instruments are authentic; all in all 27 musicians found their way into Hagen's famous Woodhouse Studio to record this album, including a full choir, a tenor, strings, brass and woodwinds.

"Seven Secrets" kicks things off with a wonderfully grungy backbeat with the traditional Therion chorus work and a scintillating lead guitar bridge. All kinds of textures flow throughout including some low-key horns. "Eternal Return" is one of the CD's softer pieces, with soundtrack-laden violins and gentle vocals. Halfway through its seven plus minutes, it breaks into some lead guitar and an ebbing refrain. There's acoustic guitar and some nice percussion. It's capped by the interplay of fast, scorching guitar and harpsichord. This is truly progressive piece with constant changes.

The heavy, choppy sound is back with "Enter Vril-ya," track three. This has fabulous vocals and melody, huge dynamics and great strings. Again many changes take this track through acoustic bridges and some edgy rhythm guitar. Gloomy strings prelude "Ship of Luna," inferring another softer piece. The brooding building ambience breaks into some of the prettiest acoustic guitar outside of Ian Anderson. The acoustics carry the rest of the songs despite interludes of electric lead. Another amazing melody is found in "The Invincible." Lots of gorgeous strings, grungy guitar and soaring vocals weave in and out of acoustic passages. Halfway through and this amazing CD has not let up yet.

Folksy hurdy gurdy and acoustic guitar carry the track "Deggial" to a building symphonic climax. Strings lift the vocals to dazzling heights. Great majestic passages suddenly erupt into a long frenzied metal refrain with fantastic guitar and synthesiser (though Johnsson uses little synth on this album). This song really scorches.

It's back to soft melodic textures on track seven, "Emerald Crown." A minimalist opening leads to some moderate chords and lots of strings. Somewhat similar to other parts of the CD, this song doesn't really stand out but it certainly grows on you with each listen. After a folksy short instrumental with vocal arias thrown in, we're thrown right into the marching rock track, "Flesh of the Gods." This is Therion doing the Scorpions and doing them well. This one comes complete with rock vocal styling backdropped by the angelic sirens. Some great scintillating lead passages also augment this brilliant piece.

Track ten clocks in at nearly 10 minutes. Church organ leads us into more scorching guitar and the usual operatic vocals. In the truest Baroque way, Johnsson leads us through so many changes on this track, I couldn't begin to describe it. Imagine extreme classical on one end, symphonic in the middle, grungy metal on the other; and everything else in between.

"O Fortuna" gives true meaning to the notion of Metal Opera. Carmina Burana revisited, Therion style. The perfect end to a perfect CD. Therion's true masterpiece has arrived. Don't miss Deggial, the culmination of one of the most profound movements that has hit rock music in recent years.

Seven Secrets Of The Sphinx (3:35) / Eternal Return (7:11) / Enter Vril-Ya (6:38) / Ship Of Luna (6:29) / The Invincible (5:09) / Deggial (5:04) / Emerald Crown (5:30) / The Flight Of The Lord Of Flies (1:22) / Flesh Of The Gods (4:06) / Via Nocturna (Part I: The Path, Part II: Hexentanz) (9:33) / O Fortuna (3:22)

Christofer Johnsson - guitars
Kristian Niemann - guitars
Sami Karpinen - drums
Johann Niemann - bass


Jan Kazda - acoustic guitar
Hansi K?rsch - lead vocals (9)
Alexander Schimmeroth - piano
Waldemar Sorychta - acoustic guitar (11)

Of Darkness (1991)
Beyond Sanctorum (1991)
Symphony Masses - Ho Drakon Ho Megas (1993)
Beauty In Black (1994)
Lapaca Kliffoth (1995)
Theli (1997)
A'arab Zaraq Lucid Dreaming (1997)
Vovin (1998)
Crowing Of Atlantis (1999)
Deggial (2000)
Secret Of The Runes (2001)
Bells Of Doom (2001)
Live In Midgard (2002)
Lemuria (2004)
Sirius B (2004)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin SE

Added: May 1st 2000
Reviewer: Richard Zywotkiewicz

Artist website:
Hits: 868
Language: english


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