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Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland


Swedish symphonic metallers Therion are a worldwide success now and tour regularly in their own right and are a popular attraction at metal festivals everywhere.

The band have evolved gradually over the years and refined their mad yet somehow irresistible mixture of opera, metal and symphonic arrangements performed by multiple vocalists. In their early days they were as much about doom and death metal but it was with the 1996 release of 'Theli' that the "real" Therion was born.

For the first time founding member Christofer Johnsson really let loose with his musical vision featuring choirs, operatic style vocals contrasted against crunching metal guitars and a variety of arrangements and rhythms. Theli was re-released on its; own last year and my review can be found here.

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Back in 1997 Therion released an album of extras and outtakes from the 'Theli' sessions called 'A'arab Zarag-Lucid Dreaming' and in this release of 'Theli' there are three songs included from that album as extras plus rare track 'Babylon'.

'Theli' sold much better than previous Therion releases and emboldened with his success Johnsson pushed forward quickly with the release of 'Vovin' in 1998. The line-up of the band was very fluid at this point so Johnsson really is the main driving force and the songs follow a similar path to 'Theli', although this time there is a real choir and orchestra involved at the recording stage so the operatic grandeur that was required was fully realised at last. Tracks like 'The Rise Of Sodom And Gomorrah', 'Wine Of Aluqah' and 'Raven Of Dispersion' are loved by crowds across the world to this day.

Sales of 'Vovin' were double that of 'Theli' and the rise of Therion had begun in earnest. They were ready to become one of the best loved and most original symphonic metal bands around, not to mention one of the craziest!

This two CD package is a great place for anyone to start their Therion collection. I think it really does show them finding their musical place in the world and has a slew of classic Therion tracks across both discs. It's a testament to these songs that many are still staples of the band's live set. In fact when I saw Therion in Glasgow this year (review here) no fewer than nine of the songs from these two albums were featured. If you always wondered what they were like on album then this is where to begin to find out.

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Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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