CD review THERION "Beloved Antichrist"

(7/10) Therion has a long history in metal. Founded by Swedish multi-instrumentalist Christofer Johnsson, Therion began as a death metal band before slowly shifting toward symphonic metal. After having released a debut album in 1991, entitled "Of Darkness...", Therion released another 14 longplayers with number 15 being the brand new "Beloved Antichrist".

Johnsson and friends' newest strike is an ambitious one. "Beloved Antichrist" is not just an album. It's a three CD comprising rock opera, inspired by Vladimir Soloviov's "A Short Tale of the Antichrist". The entire plot is split into three acts, one per CD. To transfer the story in the best possible way, Johnsson was in need of different voices for 30 different roles and characters. To solve this challenge in the best possible way, Johansson worked together with many different singers, vocalists like Thomas Vikström, Lori Lewis and Chiara Malvestiti ... to just mention some.

"Beloved Antichrist" is a masterpiece when it comes to storyline, creativity and complexity. To create such an album is more than just writing songs. It's intensive work that transfers motions of characters into music. Therefor it's also a mission impossible to pick some songs out of the context. It just doesn't make sense since this 3-CD package is a Gesamtkunstwerk and also needs to be seen like that.

No doubt, "Beloved Antichrist" is an epic and ambitious project that grew over the past years to an impressive and challenging milestone. Next to excellent musicians and a perfect production, it's the running time of three hours that is far beyond average. Unfortunately it's the three hours that makes the album a bit lengthy. It's a real challenge to keep listeners excited over such a long time, esp. in a fast moving world with a span of attention that becomes shorter and shorter every year. After having gone through the first CD I had the feeling that I've heard it, but there were two more to go. Again, there is a lot of superb work done that asks for a lot of respect. However, the final spice is missing. "Beloved Antichrist" is like looking on the endless flow of a river surrounded by beautiful nature. The entire picture is an awesome composition but if you focus too long on the river it stays a flow of water that's pretty much of the same thing only different. That's the impression I got while listening to Therion's rock opera.

To sum up: "Beloved Antichrist" became a monumental release that offers a lot of music, composed and performed by exquisite musicians. Each song itself is a little masterpiece, but it's the quantity of music that's overwhelming and a bit too much. A real curveball.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

Act I

01. Turn from Heaven

02. Where Will You Go?

03. Through Dust, Through Rain

04. Signs Are Here

05. Never Again

06. Bring Her Home

07. The Solid Black Beyond

08. The Crowning Of Splendour

09. Morning Has Broken

10. Garden Of Peace

11. Our Destiny

12. Anthem

13. The Palace Ball

14. Jewels From Afar

15. Hail Caesar!

16. What Is Wrong?

17. Nothing but My Name

Act II

01. The Arrival of Apollonius

02. Pledging Loyalty

03. Night Reborn

04. Dagger of God

05. Temple Of New Jerusalem

06. The Lions Roar

07. Bringing the Gospel

08. Laudate Dominum

09. Remaining Silent

10. Behold Antichrist

11. Cursed By the Fallen

12. Resurrection

13. To Where I Weep

14. Astral Sophia

15. Thy Will Be Done!

Act III

01. Shoot Them Down!

02. Beneath the Starry Skies

03. Forgive Me

04. The Wasteland of My Heart

05. Burning the Palace

06. Prelude to War

07. Day of Wrath

08. Rise to War

09. Time Has Come/Final Battle

10. My Voyage Carries On

11. Striking Darkness

12. Seeds of Time

13. To Shine Forever

14. Theme of Antichrist

 

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Rock Opera

Release Date EU: February 9th, 2018

Tag(s) : #Therion, #Beloved Antichrist, #Rock Opera, #Nuclear Blast, #News, #CD Review, #Heavy Metal, #Symphonic Metal