Sunday, March 4th turned out to be an incredible evening, and I’m definitely not talking about the election results… no. Not about the Oscars night, either. I’m talking about Therion’s show at Kino Šiška in Ljubljana (Slovenia).
The Swedish band is on tour supporting their latest album “Beloved Antichrist” – which came out on February 9th via Nuclear Blast – together with Russians Imperial Age, Null Positiv from Germany and The Devil, from the UK (we don’t know much about them, they managed to keep their identities secret better than Ghost).
Once arrived at Kino Šiška, after climbing some icy snow hills with very appropriate fabric shoes, me and my colleague had the great opportunity to chat with Chiara Malvestiti, who kindly had us in the backstage and introduced us to the other guys in Therion. While this was happening, The Devil already finished their performance: you can read my colleague’s impression below.
“Britishmen The Devil had honour to open the evening. The mysterious, masked band manages to evoke different sensations and emotions among the audience. No voice, just instrumental tracks perfectly synchronized to the videos on the backdrop: on the images from the Moon landng, to nuclear explosions from the Manhattan projects and other historical events, as well as using sampled voices and extracts from original, historic speeches instead of normal singing, The Devil make the show an almost hypnotic experience. All the songs in the setlist were taken from their eponymous album, released in 2012.”
I enter the place just after the beginning of Null Positiv’s gig. Not much crowd, but singer Elli Berlin manages to catalyze the attention of the audience switching between growl and clean vocals very easily. Great stage presence, along with bodypaint for all of the musicians on stage and lyrics in German, their mother tongue.
With a fairly limited setlist because of the stage time, Null Positiv go straight ahead without pause, one song after the other. The nice “Friss Dich Aut” is followed by “Koma” and the closer “Scars“.
A quick set change and Russians Imperial Age come on stage on the notes of “The Awakening“, taken from their latest work “The Legacy of Atlantis” released on January 31st via Adulruna. Male vocalist Alexander “Aor” Osipov is well balanced with females Jane “Corn” Odintsova and Anna “Kiara” Moiseeva.
Among the songs we can remember “The Monastery” and “Anthem of Valour“, with guitar and bass players on the side making their own show with synchronized headbanging.
The audience response was very good, the crowd is big by now for what is the first performance in Slovenia or Imperial Age. For those who love symphonic, this is surely a band worth listening to and seeing at least once.
Around 9:30 PM, came the moment everyone was waiting for. The venue is packed, lights get dimmed and we can hear the first notes of “Theme of Antichrist“. Founder Christofer Johnsson is followed on stage by all the other members, greeted warmly by the audience.
It all starts with a bang, with “The Blood of Kingu” and “Din“, with the surprising participation of Elli from Null Positiv. The band is in great shape, despite Thomas Vikstrom being caught by a cold (if he sings like that with a cold, I can’t really imagine how he is normally! He didn’t miss a single note the whole evening).
The show goes on with songs like “Typhon“, “An Arrow from the Sun” and the beautiful “Lemuria“, sung by the celestial voice of Chiara Malvestiti who bewitched the whole Šiška.
The big moment arrives in the end, with the hit “The Rise of Sodom and Gomorrah” as an encore, making the whole venue sing in a big, single voice! It all ends with another big hit… what couldn’t possibly be left out? Well, obviously “To Mega Therion“, with all the members of the band at the center of the stage, playing and singing together. A beautiful picture, closing an unbelievable concert.
Therion proved themselves as one of the most important bands in the symphonic metal scene.
I’d really like to thank Chiara Malvestiti for having given me the chance to meet her and chat with her and the rest of the band. Thank you!