Therion "Leviathan II" Digipak CD w/ Bonus Tracks
Release Date: October 28, 2022
With defiant determination rarely found in a metal band, THERION have always and exclusively done what they deemed right. Never did they stick to a successful formula, never did they release the same album twice, never did they give in to fickle friends like expectation, commercial aspects or trends. Which makes it all the more astounding that now, 35 years deep into their storied career, they actually do something every fan had hoped but never actually thought possible. Enter “Leviathan”, enter a trilogy focusing on all the trademark elements THERION are beloved by countless of metal fans around the globe. After the first part set hearts aflame in 2021, evoking goosebumps galore and reminiscing the glory days of the nineties, the symphonic metal grand-seigneurs continue their surprisingly fan-friendly path with their epic odyssey “Leviathan II”.
After breaking into the nineties with their Celtic Frost tinged, gothic interlaced death metal manifestos “Of Darkness …” and “Beyond Sanctorum” THERION spearheaded the symphonic metal uprise with their game-changing masterpiece “Theli” in 1996, followed by “Vovin” in 1998, their most successful album to date. „In the nineties nobody was ready for what we did,“ he muses. „We started something new, something bold. We were forerunners, pioneers but ultimately, time caught up with us. Today, everybody uses orchestra or operatic vocals.” None so skilfully and elegant as THERION, of course.
The “Leviathan” trilogy is THERION’s way of honouring their storied career, carving out all the elements that made them become the revered symphonic metal titans they are. “That may sound very easy but it was a great challenge for us,” Johnsson says. “I was spending a lot of time analysing the songs people loved the most. We didn’t want to sound like a copy of our former self but we wanted to extract the essence of what our fans love the most about us in order to write songs that bear the essence of our most iconic pieces.”
While the first part of the trilogy was honouring the classical THERION anthems, “Leviathan II” rekindles the mystic, melancholic aura of their groundbreaking work “Vovin” while part three will focus on the “braver orchestral songs” in September 2023, as Christofer Johnsson puts it. The mighty lead single off “Leviathan II”, “Litany Of The Fallen”, works as a bridge between all three parts, uniting said trademarks in one song. And of course that’s only the beginning: Just take “Pazuzu”, a song so grand they recorded it in two versions – a classic THERION style anthem and a lofty AOR version. And it works! Outstanding moments can also be found in the mystic beauty that is “Alchemy of the Soul” or the symphonic grandeur of “Marijin Min Nar”.
First the three albums of “Beloved Antichrist”, now a whole trilogy that’s already recorded: One could guess (and would do so correctly) that Christofer Johnsson has no shortage of inspiration these days. “Thanks to ‘Beloved Antichrist’ my songwriting changed considerably,” he nods. “Before that I was a victim to my muse. I heavily depended on that little demon sitting on my shoulder and singing me a song every now and then. But when you make a rock musical like this, you need to write in scenes. It’s all laid out and you need to write songs tailor-made for a certain scene. Having accomplished this, I feel that I can write what I want, anytime. It's not spontaneous or chaotic any more.”
Rooted deep in the mythologies of the world, in ancient legends, forbidden knowledge and arcane belief, THERION continue their trailblazing stalwarts as masters of mythological metal. “We write about what sparks our interest,” he explains. “To me, this is always a welcome opportunity to dive into some mythology, culture or belief I haven't tapped in too much before.” To his listeners, too. The “Leviathan” trilogy, named after the cosmic beast rising from the seas, is a compendium to the myths of the world, a bestiary of forgotten lands and creatures.