It's live... It's gothic... It's fucking brilliant
Therion have enjoyed a long and successful career during the last 21 years, in which time they have released sixteen studio albums, and two live albums; the first being Live I Midgard back in 2002 and the other being the album that is under review, Live Gothic, which was released in July of 2008. Therion have to be praised, as all of their releases have been solid efforts that have not let down their dedicated fans, and they have slowly developed and progressed their style to become the gothic, symphonic metal band that is loved today. Their new live album Live Gothic come in two different versions, one with both audio CDs of the concert and a DVD of the entire performance, and one with just the two audio CDs, the latter of which is being reviewed today.
Live Gothic incorporates a lot of the most recent studio album Gothic Kabbalah nto the set list, with songs such as Der Mitternachtslöwe, but there is also a wide variety from the Therion archive that dates back to their 1996 release Theli. The entire concert is a rollercoaster of ever changing momentum, as there are multiple climaxes during some of their better known and more enegetic songs such as To Mega Therion and The Son Of The Sun, and these songs are broken up by ballads and more operatic songs such as Deggial and The Perennial Sophia. Therion really know how to get the crowd going, which can be heard loud and clear when they cheer and scream loudly. A lot of live albums often suffer because too much crowd noise can be heard, which can sometimes drown out the band if it is loud enough, but much of this noise has been muted whilst the band is playing, which makes it much more enjoyable to listen to. This concert is full of great moments, and two of my favourite are when they play Birth Of Venus Illegitima, which has a cool progressive side to it, and the drum solo in the middle of their set, which the crowd sound like they love. I normally hate drum solos, but Therion drummer Johan Koleberg focuses more on a solid beat to get the crowd going rather than simply going for speed.
Therion have managed to tick every box and create an awesome live release that documents a landmark time in metal history, a time when people will remember Therion as being at the top of their game. The sound is rich and thick, and the vocalists, both male and female, are absolutely amazing to listen to. The vocalists for the concert were Lori Lewis (Aesma Daeva), Katarina Lilja (Sobre Nocturne), Mats Leven (who has since left the band) and Snowy Shaw (King Diamond, Mercyful Fate). By the sounds of the crowd, Therion have put on one hell of a show, so if you enjoy watching music DVDs, then I definitely recommend going for that option. Therion have always been great on album, but does it ever get any better than when it is live?
(Nuclear Blast Records/Riot! Entertainment)