Profile:Founded in 1987 in Sweden by bassist & vocalist Christofer Johnsson, guitarist Peter Hansson, and drummer Oskar Forss as Blitzkrieg, the new band’s impending break-up one year later would not mark the end of the collaborative efforts between these musicians. Fueled by the influence of Switzerland’s Celtic Frost, Christofer switched to guitar and sought a new incarnation as a creative death metal band under the name MEGATHERION (inspired by Celtic Frost’s 1985 release, To Mega Therion) with former bandmate Hansson, and both soon re-welcomed drummer Oskar Forss back into the fold. The band’s name was ultimately shortened to THERION, but by no means would the career that awaited them be abbreviated. Their full-length 1991 debut on Deaf Records, Of Darkness… earned the band their first success in the metal underground, and especially notable was what the song “Symphony For The Dead” accomplished with its use of keyboards, female vocals, and clean male vocals. In the wild years of experimentation that followed, THERION explored occult lyrical concepts, the use of keyboards, Persian music scales, jazz, industrial music, gothic chanting, and classic ‘80s metal sounds. The results were the innovative albums Beyond Sanctorum, Ho Drakon Ho Megas, and Lepaca Kliffoth. Strangely enough, while the band was busy charting new musical territory, their future remained uncertain. Member turmoil, few touring opportunities, and small recording budgets resulted in another transitional phase for THERION. After a crucial demonstration of belief & support from their new label Nuclear Blast and after hiring freelance musicians to fulfill his musical vision, Christofer poured his energies into creating 1996’s Theli, lauded as the album where THERION broke loose from all genre limitations and created the beginning of a musical revolution. Featuring (among other things) two choirs (one classic, one rock) and an avalanche of keyboards, Theli was received with such fervor that THERION was now receiving multiple tour offers, secured a manager, re-negotiated their label contract, and thus paved the way to everything the band continued to accomplish. The celebration of the bands 10-year anniversary release, Aarab Zaraq Lucid Dreaming (a compilation of remaining Theli songs, cover songs and the soundtrack Christofer utilized for the art film: The Golden Embrace) was released. The next recording, Vovin, utilized a string orchestra that was never used before. The metal community accepted this innovative attempt with positive feedback, and Vovin became THERION’s best-selling album, with over 150,000 sales worldwide. After an extensive European tour, THERION joined several live tracks together to create the Crowning Of Atlantis release in 1999. Christofer then made the decision to solidify the band’s line-up, so brothers Kristian and Johan Niemann were offered core membership in the band. Since the material for the follow up to Vovin was already completed by Christofer, there was no chance for the Niemann brothers to contribute with any song material for this release, so the resulting Deggial album was 90% Christofer’s composition, but played by a permanent band. With the later recruitment of a full symphony orchestra, THERION’s complexity reached a higher level. After Deggial, THERION felt a strong passion to create an album inspired by the Nordic elements and influences of folk music. In addition, Christofer also strived to have more time to work on the next album, and took the very brave decision to use the band’s recording budget to build the recording studio - Modern Art. Once completed, THERION were able to finalize their first concept album, Secret Of The Runes, based on the nine worlds in Nordic mythology. During several live concerts that were recorded after a European and Latin American tour, THERION decided to use some of those recordings for their first live album, the double disc set entitled Live In Midgard, released as the celebration of the band’s fifteen year anniversary in 2002. The next venture proved to be the band’s most elaborate record of all time. Over nine months in the making with the involvement of 171 individuals, the release became THERION’s most celestial and majestic double disc set: Lemuria/Sirius B. Recorded at THERION’s very own Modern Art Studios, the routine recordings of instruments like drums, bass, guitars, balalaikas, domras and mandolins were not the only items recorded in the studio this time around. A majority of the lead and operatic vocals, symphonic orchestra, grand piano, harpsichord, and a choir of thirty-two people were also utilized and conducted by Christofer. Once the final instrument (a special organ from the oldest church in Copenhagen, Denmark) was recorded to complete the album, the band was able to enter Sun Studio with Denmark’s finest producer Lars Nissen for the final mixing of the masterpiece Lemuria/Sirius B. A twenty-year career in the music industry as an independent artist is no easy feat. With time comes knowledge and understanding of the ages. Culture and music have always been a great part of the collective well-being of nations. By enlightening lives with exceptional musical achievements, one is planting a seed of strength that will lead to a better life quality. By creating a healthy cultural atmosphere, one also creates a healthy foundation for generations to come. As a tribute to the unorthodox achievements which stand as landmarks in THERION’s history, Nuclear Blast took great pride in releasing the band’s first box set” in 2006’s Celebrators of Becoming. This impressive career spanning six-disc set (four DVDs + two CDs) emphasized THERION’s infinite musical history from their early death metal roots all the way to their current status of supreme operatic metal. Gothic Kabbalah, THERION’s latest dual disc release for 2007, is an epic musical odyssey of mysticism, metal, and operatic elements of the highest caliber. It is this latest effort that proves the band continues to climb the ladder of innovation as heard in progressive and powerful tracks like “Son Of The Staves Of Time” and “The Wisdom And The Cage.” While emotion and dark expressions make up a great part of the record, aggression is an added potent element that makes Gothic Kabbalah a compelling album, as heard on the track “T.O.F. – The Trinity.” THERION have always been about musical visions, progressing over the years with added recognition and escalating maturity. Harmony and brilliance at its most elite, THERION will continue to walk down the road towards distinctiveness, sophistication, and mystery.
Sounds Like:A fusion of classical vocals/keyboards, progressive lead guitar and moronic 1980s heavy metal that is composed more like rock music which aims for a harmony of notes and not structure as occurs in underground metal.
Influences:A range of Influences are Black Metal, Classical Music, and Magical Lyrics.
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