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Gate to unbelievable world - 100%

loinclarm, April 13th, 2004

When I listen to some music, I may appreciate the music itself, but seldom, I have the feeling that all the world become hopeful and luciferous just because of the music I am listening to. Except for this one, when the sound of "Theli" begins, I am lost in the world it creates, again and again, sometimes like an illusion, even the world outside become so magical and miraculous.

Until now, I have never found a band like Therion, can use the chorus so well, and mixed the element of metal and symphony so perfectly. Compared with their later album, this album is heavier, the guitar riff and drum are stronger; but for the earlier ones, they come to a new stage, change the style of the music, and use lots of orchestration and human chorus, which make this album more gorgeous, and more plenty.

After a beautiful intro, in which the keyboard and the female voice make an excellent atmosphere and make you fall into the world of ancient imagination, there comes the first climax, from the very beginning of "To Mega Therion", a majestic chorus attracts the listener¡¯s attention, but you can hear the drums behind the vocals, which make it stronger, and distinguished with the pure orchestral works. In the entire song, we see a perfectly combination of the element of metal and symphony, especially the chorus.

Then, my favorite one, "Cult of Shadow". Its music is just like the title. After an majestic ceremony, with the same male and female chorus, with the same use of keyboards, with the same beautiful melody and rhythm, the music becomes darker and darker. I would say, if the "To Mega Theion" make you think of a rising sun, shiny and splendid; the "Cult of Shadow" will put you under a setting sun, into the noble light, the mystery of the night. Maybe it is less bright than the anthem "To Mega Therion", but in the "Cult of Shadow", you can also find the mystery of northern land.

The others are also excellent, and have their own features to make each one an excellent work: The slower rhythm in the beginning of "In the Desert of Set", which make you recall their doom style; the graceful female vocal solo in the "Nightside of Eden", which fits the vocals performed by P.Warwzeniuk and Dan Swanö so well; the marching drum beat of the "Ivocation of Naamah" brings the music into a more heated atmosphere; and the last song, "The Siren of the Woods", in which the guitar riff and the slower drum beat make a gallant environment, and the somewhat mournful singing take it into Gothic middle ages.

There are four songs of pure music, with the preludium, the interludium, the opus eclipse and the grand finale/postludium. But with the part of the choir singing, their harmonized unification of the element of opera and metal, you will not have the feeling of blankness. For the entire album, Therion use a speed of slow to medium, to bring the music more splendid, compared to the effect that faster, stronger, and heavier of other metal words. I think Therion has successfully achieve their goals, I don't know whether the concept of "metal symphony" had begun from this album, for my point of view, this album is the most representative one, it has open a gate of a brand new world to me.

There is a folk saying in China: "The more the people there are, the stronger the power is". Seeing people who join forces on this album, except the members of the band, there is also the north German radio choir and the siren choir, and many other guest players. With all of those excellent musicians, no doubt this album becomes a masterpiece.

If the scores permit, I think I will give this album 200. No matter it is called "symphonic black metal" or "metal symphony", this is the most fantastic and most classic work that I have listened on my journey into the world of metal.