Whatever end of the metal music spectrum you prefer, THERION are a hard name to miss. I knew the band name but never sat down to listen to them until now. After hearing the epic sounds of their latest album Leviathan, it makes me wonder why I hadn’t started listening to them sooner. As mentioned, this is packed with THERION hits. Ones that die-hard fans are rejoicing and enticing the new listeners in.
It kicks off with The Leaf On The Oak Of Far. When it first started playing, I remember thinking this was a great sound but didn’t quite grab me straight away. Once the choirs and symphonic sounds came to play, that caught my attention. When COVID-19 isn’t at play, I am in a choir myself so I appreciate choral voices, particularly the flawless harmonies. The Hellscore Choir make a fantastic addition to this album. I knew from this point on, this album required my undivided focus.
One of the things that drew me to Symphonic Metal was the fusion of two completely different styles of music coming together to create something magical. Leviathan is a phenomenal example of this. There are no fillers, each track has a special place on the record. Below are just some of the tracks that demonstrate this album’s power.
Tuonela is the realm of the dead or the Underworld in Finnish mythology, the sinister yet powerful arrangements do impeccably to create the type of atmosphere that would be in Tuonela. The powerful and dark tones from Marco Hietala and Taida Nazraić’s beautiful, delicate voice shine through in this track, this contrast between these two voices is fantastic.
Die Wellen der Zeit is a beautiful track. There is no other way to describe it. It’s rare these days for tracks to really grab my attention and bring feelings forward. Die Wellen der Zeit actually gave me chills. No distortion in this track, it’s stripped down to Taida’s stunning vocals and the choirs combined with stunning symphonies. It created something magnificent.
Nocturnal Light is worthy of a place in an epic fantasy film. The majestic symphonic arrangements and impressive choirs provide a cinematic atmosphere that transports you to a far off land. If this haunting song were to be part of a film, I imagine the main protagonist being blessed by someone of royalty in a land before setting off on a quest or a ritual taking place.
It concludes with Ten Courts Of Diyu and it’s an interesting track. It starts off with happy and delicate arrangements before unleashing more sinister sounds. Ten Courts Of Diyu is also known as the Ten Courts Of Hell in Chinese folklore so this perfect balance of delicate and sinister arrangements works well here. It’s a great way to close the album.
Leviathan is further proof why THERION have rightly earnt the recognition and respect. I have already lost count on how many times I have listened to this record, it’s easy to see why this has been praised by fans and critics alike. Like the actual sea creature, Leviathan is a grand impactful being that blows you away with it’s mightiness.
Words: Lotty Whittingham
Leviathan is out now.
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