» Therion 2004 11 03  
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Reviewed by Tommy
Special guest: Tristania+ Trail Of Tears
City: Groningen, The Netherlands
Venue: De Oosterpoort
Date: 03 Nov. 2004
Therion setlength: 100 minutes
Tristania setlength: 50 minutes
Trail Of Tears setlength: 30 minutes


Therion - a long running swedish act, by many considered the inventors of the symphonic metal genre, mixing basic metal with opera elements. They are currently out on an extensive european tour, and are bringing along 2 supporting acts, both of them hailing from Norway: Trail Of Tears and Tristania. The venue for this event is rather small, I would estimate it to be able to take approximatly 500-600 people. It was not packed, and I believe around 75% of the space was taken up. The sound is good in the hall, and the stage big enough for the bands to be able to be creative on stage. The supporting acts I was not especially familiar with beforehand, but I checked them out before the show so I knew what to expect. Adequate music, but nothing breath taking on cd, and that impression should show to be valid for the live performance as well.


Trail Of Tears

First band out is Trail Of Tears, and they kickstart the evening with an agressive song. Blast beats on the drums and growling vocals as well as clean, and the tone for their gig was hereby set. It is from time to time almost a black metal approach in the speed and aggressivness of their music, mixed with a lot of gothic elements, but heavier then average. Trail Of Tears are using 2 vocalists, and funny enough the one that looks like he is handeling the growling is the one that sings clean, and the one more likely to sing clean is evidently the growling one. The response from the audience was a bit lukewarm, and that might be due to that fact that there were lot of gothic attenders to the concert and this might be a little bit more aggressive than the bands they normally listen to. They have only been given 30 minutes for their set, and for me that is a dose just enough. I suspect that more of this band could be a bit too much. They play a lot of new songs, almost half the set consists of new material, and the fans seem to like them, and conveniantly enough their new album is due for release in a few months time.

(Sorry, no setlist)

6 chalices of 10



Next band out is Tristania from Norway, with 4 albums in their backs, and the 5th expected to be released in January 2005 as their first on their new label SPV. Tristania is a respected and by now well known band in the gothic genre. Similarities with bands such as After Forever, Within Temptation, and escpecially Theatre Of Tragedy can be found in their music. They deliver a good set, and the reception from the audience is good. They are all good musicians, and they put on a visual show with front woman Vibeke Stene as a natural centre point with her voice and body language. The today so common concept of having more then one vocalist, usually one female and one male as contradiction to each other, is by Tristania taken to the extreme: they have 3 singers. One female, one growling, and one clean. It works very well and adds to the sound and the show. Their material is good, but music of this kind has to be really good for me to be able to pay full attention for a whole concert or a whole album, and this does not really rise above many other bands in the same genre.. A worthy opener for Therion, though, and the crowd seems pleased.


World Of Glass
Tender Trip On Earth
Beyond The Veil

7,5 Chalices of 10



The main act for the evening enters the stage, and immediatly the quality of the show increases, and that by immense proportions. The setlist is a bit shorter on the european leg of this tour than on the Latin American, Turkish and Greek part, since they now have 2 supporting bands that also get their share of the stage time. It is still an impressive and varied setlist, and bits and pieces from most albums are being served to us, and that in very nice package, visually as well as sound wise. Therion is using 10 people on stage: Mainman Christoffer Johnsson on guitar, Kristian Niemann also on guitar, Johan Niemann on bass, Petter Karlsson on drums, well renowned Mats Leven on vocals (previously in bands like At Vance, Yngwie Malmsteen, Krux, Abstrakt Algebra, Treat among many other, but in this band only touring member at this point. My guess is that that is going to change soon, though....), a choir consisting of 4 singers (2 female, 2 male), plus a female soprano soloist. The latter had to leave the stage after half an hour, though, due to food poisoning of some kind, so the remaining part of the concert unfortunatly had to be done without her present.

After opening with 2 songs from the new albums, they deliver a good mix of a bit older songs with new pearls. A few from Deggial, Vovin and even back to Lepaca Kliffoth. There are no dead moments in this set, as they manage to grab, and keep, our attention with a perfectly built setlist. Looking at the dates for this tour, it shows that around this time, they are booked to play almost every night for a month in a row, and this is in the middle of that schedule. Despite that, they put on a very energetic show, and the joy and pure love for the music really shines through. They deliver a professional set, with great and classy music, but they also give alot of themselves. There is laughter and interaction with the audience almost all the time. Intimacy is a word that comes to mind.

The sound is very good, and they are able to recreate a very compact and tight sound landscape, despite the fact that they have to leave out most of the 171 musicians and singers in total, that were involved in creating their latest effort Lemuria/Sirius B. The lights and choreography are also very good, and needless to say considering the level of musicianship of everyone involved, the band is delivering state of the art and tight performances.

The encore consists of 2 songs from Theli, and the crowd goes wild. Very good versions of songs that introduced me to Therion. In the second encore they are firing off two covers, whereof the last is a cover of Iron Fist with Motörhead. I don't think many - if anyone - left the venue dissatisfied with this performance.

9 Chalices of 10


(might not be entirely correct)

The Blood Of Kingu
Uthark Runa
Seven Secrets Of The Sphinx
Crowning Of Atlantis
In Remembrance
Wild Hunt
The Invincible
Rise Of Sodom And Gomorrah
The Khlysti Evangelist
Siren Of The Woods
Wine Of Aluqah
Cults Of The Shadow
To Mega Therion
Black Funeral (Mercyful Fate cover)
Iron Fist (Motörhead cover)

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