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Therion - Symphony Masses: Ho Drakon Ho Megas (Reissue)

Symphony Masses: Ho Drakon Ho Megas (Reissue)
by Craig Rider at 30 May 2022, 6:16 PM

Metal maniacs, rejoice! I am proud to present to you: THERION; signed via Hammerheart Records, hailing from Swedish grounds - performing Death Metal, on their 3rd full-length studio album entitled: “Symphony Masses: Ho Drakon Ho Megas” (reissued on April 8th, 2022). Since formation in 1987 (as BLITZKRIEG & MEGATHERION until 1988); the quartet in question have 3 demos, 3 EPs, 4 splits, 3 boxed sets, 3 live albums, 5 compilations, and 17 full-length studio albums in their discography so far. I am introduced to their 3rd offering, 11 tracks ranging around 37:45; said band arrange an intricately designed formula on some heavy-hitting Death Metal developments.

Opening up with this gnarly baton of riff remedy; this solid slab of concretely gritty heft grinds a distorted harmony in blistering but bludgeoning calamity within “Baal Reginon”. A bulldozing artillery amplifies into a barrage frenzy in boisterously bouncy crunchiness, until this dark hymn in “Dark Princess Naamah” intertwines a vibrantly potent symphony on symbolic grinds and chunky but blackened rhythm that soon rivets with trailblazing seamlessness on sonic rebellion. The ritualistic atmosphere captures a primitively raw aesthetic in monolithic tempo, visceral swerves & sturdy thuds that ramify with sulfurous yet volatile mobility amongst a killer laceration on strident wrath which manifests with uniquely versatile vehemence while utilizing groovy breakdowns for good measure. Profound within “A Black Rose”, as this quirky swamp of snappy nimbleness from guitarist Magnus Barthelson revs the axe into a rapidly swift piercing on speedy but catchy dexterity and a dynamic virtuosity on experimental distinction that rumbles with reverberating stability to boot.

Synergising with creatively complex momentum, this tactical maelstrom stability rips souls new wounds of flamboyant firepower finesse. As audible bass thumpiness pursuit with striking yet steely precise flickers from powerhouse belter Andreas Wallan Wahl; while rambunctiously piledriving onslaught from hammering and clobbering drummer Piotr Wawrzeniuk trembles speakers with wildly rushing mayhem amongst a blackened chaos forges infernal and hellbent blasphemously - fabricating a distinguished element in punchy weight on tight impact, impulsing eardrums with wrathful intent especially within “Symphoni Darkonis Inferni”. “Dawn Of Perishness” provides unique substance on organic pandemonium & ruthless persistence, persevering with radically wicked fundamentals in flexible implementations of rampantly rompy kicks while Christopher Johnsson on vocals/guitar/keyboards unleashes this razor-sharp conundrum in deep, guttural growls with raspy throatiness and bleeding roars that soar with shouty yells amongst a barking bellowing, grunting away with visceral ferociousness.

The Eye Of The Eclipse” instrumentally captures virtuosic meatiness, where monstrous virulence viciously distills an extreme craftsmanship ability in fusing intensely immense havoc and an outre panache of thrilling shreds that merge an accordingly cordial thrust with synthetic aesthetics in which makes this a heavy dose of remorseless yet tremoring symbiosis of operatic consonance. A dashing verve of spellbinding bizarrity intrudes next with this ritualistic yet unorthodox & offbeat zeal within “The Ritual Dance of the Yezidis”, which is a brief interlude of mystifying majesty which doesn’t last long - until bringing back those snarly scours within the mass tenor of the “Powerdance 9. Procreation of Eternity”. An energetic but salubrious motivation on melodious upheaval surges with mythical transgression, steamrolling with profusely robust bombast and barbaric rifts of maliciously towering furore.

The keyboards rebel with retribution & tyranny, the penultimate track “Ho Dracon Ho Megas Act 1 - The Dragon Throne” has a glorified but chiseling attribute in a battering drum marching sense of pomposity, while the overall concluding banger “Ho racon Ho Megas Act 2 - Fire and Ecstacy” continues entrancing me with medieval-esque assimilation, 2 very short hybrids but an enjoyably entertaining discovery of rugged Death Metal to start your day off rightly with. Bottom line; I am compelled to say that THERION certainly delivered an intriguing offering of this subgenre, yet the otherworldly segregation of spellbinding rituals make this somewhat wacky but an efficaciously stampeding slice of unearthing reckoning that’s worthy of spinning & replaying a good handful of times, do check it out.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Baal Reginon
2. Dark Princess Naamah
3. A Black Rose
4. Symphoni Drakonis Inferni
5. Dawn of Perishness
6. The Eye of the Eclipse
7. The Ritual Dance of the Yezidis
8. Powerdance 9. Procreation of Eternity
10. Ho Dracon Ho Megas Act 1 - The Dragon Throne
11. Ho racon Ho Megas Act 2 - Fire and Ecstacy
Andreas Wallan Wahl - Bass/Songwriting (tracks 2, 7)
Christopher Johnsson - Vocals/Guitars/Keyboards/Songwriting/Lyrics (tracks1-9
Piotr Wawrzeniuk - Drums/Songwriting (track 7)
Magnus Barthelson - Guitars
Record Label: Hammerheart Records


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Edited 30 January 2023

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