The 9th of February was quite a special date for Therion as it corresponded with the launch of “Beloved Antichrist”, their new album.
As the main hall of the Corporation is being refurbished, the gig took place in a smaller area of the venue. And even though it was a Friday night, a few more people could have been added to the crowd. What I am trying to say is: if you live near Sheffield and weren’t there on Friday to see Therion, you really did miss out on quite an extraordinary event.
The frustrating density of the traffic of the great British motorway on the 9th of February meant that I was not able to see the opening act, Midnight Eternal, play. But I arrived just in time for Null Positive, which is one of the most exciting bands that I’ve watched in quite a while. Thanks to them, I now have a really good idea of how Mad Max would sound if it was a metal band. Their post-apocalyptic look, which was greatly emphasized by the excellent lighting conditions, was something to behold. If you have never seen them, I greatly recommend that you check out their beautiful videos.
Led by charismatic singer Elli Berlin, who looks like an Amazonian woman on a mission, it delivered the goods. Elli goes from deep growls to a clear voice with a grit reminiscent of that of Doro Pesch with extreme ease. One of their songs, “Koma”, has been stuck in my mind as an ear-worm since their gig. Something tells me that this band is destined to do great things and it’s certainly one to watch out for.
Next on stage was Imperial Age, a Russian band that is actually signed on Christofer Johnsson’s own label, Adulruna Records. A symphonic metal band from Moscow founded in 2012 by Alexander “Aor” Osipov. They have already toured with Therion in the past and even covered “To Mega Therion” on their album ‘Warrior Race’.
You could say that Imperial Age is the epitome of the epic genre. By listening and watching them play dressed as warriors, you will instantly be transported into the wilderness of the great Russian steppes. The crowd seemed to be very receptive to their epicness and their musicianship was impressive.
As they entered the stage to great rapture from the crowd, they opened the show with “Theme Of The Antichrist” which was released very recently as an animated video. The crowd cheered as each member of Therion entered one by one. The singers for the tour are Chiara Malvestiti, Linnéa Vikström and Thomas Vilkstörm. Only one word comes to mind when seeing them perform: excellence. Linnéa impressed me with her ability to switch from her lyrical voice to growls effortlessly, Chiara’s wonderful soprano tessiture has crystal like qualities, whilst Thomas’s vocal performance radiates assurance and aplomb. The 3 of them performed each song with great
musicality, complicity, and theatricality.
The same goes for their instrumentalist counterparts. The result is a band who exudes great happiness at performing Therion’s material.
Whilst I watched the gig, I remembered something Christofer said in an interview about trying to always bring something new to the table when they tour. And he stayed true to his words, whilst showcasing the new material from his rock opera as well as a few other songs that I had not seen performed live previously.
Some personal favourite Therion’s renditions for this gig were of Nifelheim and Ginungagap. The crowd was very receptive to new material and absolutely ecstatic as the classics “The Rise Of Sodom And Gomorrah” and “Mega Therion” closed the set. You could feel the ground shaking from people jumping around when those anthemic songs were performed. What I took away from this gig is a great sense of joy. If you can catch up with Therion on this tour, one thing is for sure: you will not be disappointed!