Awesome Music: Therion
Therion, the symphonic metal band who started it all, has been rocking out since 1987 and has produced some mind-shatteringly amazing work. Let's put this in perspective, shall we? You know all those CMOA entries for Nightwish? Nightwish is following in the footsteps of Therion. Yeah.
So then, from the top:
- Therion started as an extremely brutal death metal band. They transitioned into blazing the trail for symphonic metal in the early '90s. This is the very first impression we get of their symphonic efforts in their albums. Not too shabby for a first crack, and you can hear the warring symphonic-metal and death-metal influences in the song.
- "Eternal Return". Be patient, this one takes time, but it's worth it.
- "Via Nocturna", the grand finale from the same album (Deggial). Most people think "Beauty of the Beast" and "Ghost Love Score" were impressive. Then you hear this one. Then you don't think that as much anymore.
- "Adulruna Rediviva" is most likely the best example.
- "The Falling Stone", in all its splendour, was just a lead-in for this song. As a bonus, the song, as it exists on the album, is exactly thirteen minutes and thirty-seven seconds long. 1337. Whether this was an intentional geek joke or just a happy coincidence is as yet uncertain.
- "Summernight City" (you won't recognize it as an ABBA song after Therion's expert workover).
- "Kali Yuga", especially the way the song explodes as it transitions from the methodical, chugging, tension-building part 1 into the all-out frenzy of part 2.
- "The Draconian Trilogy" from Vovin.
- "The Voyage of Gurdjieff". The final track of Sirius B. Yeah, Therion knows how to do big finishes.
- "Ginnungagap". Their Secret of the Runes album opens with this. Of particular interest is the deceptiveness of the song's introduction. The listener is led to expect an explosion of ripping death growls, and is instead given an epic choir, and doesn't feel cheated at all.
- Their 2007 album Gothic Kabbalah is rife with CMOA from start to finish.
- The entire first disc of their 2009 live album The Miskolc Experience is comprised of classical pieces re-composed from scratch by Christopher Johnsson himself to incorporate metal instruments into their core sound (as opposed to other bands playing their instruments alongside the unchanged original piece as it's being performed by an orchestra).