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Therion | Deggial | review | metal | Lollipop


Deggial (Nuclear Blast)
by Martin Popoff

Therion mastermind Christofer Johnsson has spent the second half of his ten year career thus far merging the worlds of metal and classical in an uncompromising fashion that's taken the band far from other genres that propose the idea (such as power metal or prog or the slapdash duct-tapings of Yngwie and Metallica). Deggial is the man's boldest move yet, Johnsson assembling a team of 27 musicians to pull it off, this time including brass and woodwinds in the mix, along with his signature strings and operatics. Also new is the '80s metal accessibility of the riffs, Johnsson going for a clean-burning throwback to his core faves (Accept, Scorpions, Maiden), for mid-metal grooves and wide-open spaces. The synthesis of the two disciplines is highly musical, as usual quite creepy and Wagnerian, moreso given the various esoteric disciplines addressed, the core concept being ancient Arabic beliefs about the coming of an anti-messiah called Deggial who'll replace the gods with man, a sort of Nietzchean message which runs through a lot of Therion's lyrics. The key to this unique band: the metal and the classical are fully integrated, written and built simultaneously, resulting in true headbanging classical music without gaudy seams. Note: Look for Hansi from Blind Guardian guest vocalizing on "Flesh of the Gods," featuring one of the most elegant and stirring metal-metal breaks in years, plus a cover of Carl Orff's "O Fortuna."


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