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Therion – Leviathan (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Therion – Leviathan (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 45:33 minutes | 579 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Nuclear Blast

THERION have always been a band that have challenged themselves to explore new paths, while remaining true to their musical core values. For their 17th studio album, “Leviathan”, mastermind Christofer Johnsson and his collaborator Thomas Vikström have created something that has been previously unthinkable to the guitarist and the singer. “We have done the only thing that was left of all the different angles to explore”, explains Christofer. “We have decided to give the people what they kept asking for. ‘Leviathan’ is the first album that we have deliberately packed with THERION hit songs.”

When THERION came into being in 1988 by changing name from the already existing band BLITZKRIEG, which was founded a year earlier, Christofer had rather taken inspiration from SLAYER’s “Reign In Blood” among other classic metal albums. At the beginning, the Swedes were firmly rooted in death metal, a genre which they helped to define, as witnessed by their debut album “Of Darkness….” (1991). Yet even back then, there were hints of “something else” lurking beneath the rough surface.

Christofer Johnsson, guitarist/keyboardist and main composer of Therion, likes to experiment. Proof of this is this famous album, Les Fleurs du Mal (2012) on which he boldly undertook metal cover versions of some French hits of the 60s such as Poupée de Cire, Poupée de Son by France Gall or Mon Amour, Mon Ami by Marie Laforêt. But album sales were drying up, and Therion’s fanbase eventually made itself heard. Johnsson understood that he was deviating from what his audience expected, and decided to correct course with this Leviathan that opens a trilogy which is planned for release over the next three years. Enemy of doublespeak, the leader openly and without the slightest bitterness confesses that he “forced” himself to write what people expected from him. Unsurprisingly, we find here this pompous and grandiloquent operatic metal that spelled success for the Swedish combo from the mid-90s. And God knows that even Nightwish sounds almost sober compared to this really larger than life mix… If some openly heavy titles make for pleasant listening (Great Marquis Of Hell, Psalm of Retribution…), it is sometimes hard going to endure the singing parts of the soprano Lori Lewis, an improbable Castafiore who seems to have been parachuted into a parallel universe. Parallel to his, in any case. This remains a serious album with lush arrangements, full of flamboyant and fully successful solos, and which pays explicit tribute to the group’s masterpieces (Lepaca Kliffoth (1995) and Vovin (1998)). But we would have liked a little more sobriety to avoid some embarrassing passages, but Johnsson and his “free radical” side wanted otherwise. Excess is certainly part of the concept, and early fans should wholeheartedly devour this blockbuster version (we’ve made great progress in sound over the last 20 years) of the original Therion. Bombastic, as they say in the States. – Charlélie Arnaud


01. Therion – The Leaf on the Oak of Far
02. Therion – Tuonela
03. Therion – Leviathan
04. Therion – Die Wellen der Zeit
05. Therion – Aži Dahāka
06. Therion – Eye of Algol
07. Therion – Nocturnal Light
08. Therion – Great Marquis of Hell
09. Therion – Psalm of Retribution
10. Therion – El Primer Sol
11. Therion – Ten Courts of Diyu


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