THERION - Live at DirecTV Music Hall
São Paulo, Brazil, October 26th 2001
and photos by Thiago Martins
South American Field Agent for Metal-Rules.com
Therion's release Theli is one of my all-time favorite albums, and I
think it's one of the best records released in the nineties. At least,
one of the greatest innovator albums for me, it was the first time I've
heard that combination of gothic, aggressive and classic music so
perfectly. It's a masterpiece. Well, after this album, Therion's albums
didn't get me. I wasn't expecting this gig to be great, but I was
When the band entered the stage, playing "Ginnungagap", a
song off their new album SECRET OF THE RUNES, I had the first impression
that the gig would be a killer one. Christopher Johansson was a master,
he conducted the band on stage, playing his guitar perfectly, also
commanding the crowd, better than lots of front men.
The next song was "The Invocation of Naamah", from THELI.
Hell, this album is amazing. The crowd was expecting to hear songs from
it, and as they played, everyone could see that the songs worked
perfectly live. From THELI, they also played on the first part of the
gig the almighty "In the Desert of Set". Another great moments
of the gig were some songs of the VOVIN album, like "Rise of Sodom
and Gommorrah" and "Wine of Aluqah".
The songs of their current album, SECRET OF THE RUNES, are very good,
they seemed to be a lot better than from their two last efforts. They
also played some songs off LEPACA KLIFFOTH, like the amazing
"Beauty in Black" and "Wings of the Hydra".
Unfortunately, the gig had some boring moments. The song "Enter
Vril-Ya" (from DEGGIAL) seemed that it would never end. Well, I
really don't like that album, but "Seven Secret of the Sphynx",
although being repetitive, worked well live. "Flesh of the
Gods" showed that the singer Therion recruited for the gigs is
really good - he has sung Hansi Kursch parts even better than the
original. And he was a lot fun, acting like a front man, no matter how
far he was from the crowd.
The band has played some covers in the first part of the gig: Abba's
"Summer Night Cities" was amazing, but it was extremely
beautiful when they played the amazing Accept ballad "Seawinds".
The band also played some older songs, from their more extreme albums.
Very cool moment, Christopher has a great death metal vocal.
The gig was very cool, pleasant, the band was really entertaining the
crowd, and with VOVIN's "Raven of Dispersion" they ended the
first part of the set. To start the encore, THELI's "Overture"
put everybody in tension. When "To Mega Therion" started, it
was easy to notice: that was The song. Man, it's a big hit, and a big
blast. The choirs were done perfectly, and when Christopher was supposed
to sing, he didn't need it: the crowd screamed his vocal parts. Awesome.
"Cults of the Shadows" came right after it. They ended the set
with an old song that I didn't know.
the gig ended, I was quite disappointed: in the other gigs in Brazil,
the band had played Iron Maiden's "Revelations" and Accept
"Balls to the Walls". I think that it was the first time that
the gig in São Paulo had less special stuff than the other gigs in the
country. But I had nothing to complain about: the concert was excellent.
The band was really good. The guitarist Kristian Niemann, with his
krishna visual, the bassist Johan Niemann and the drummer Sami Karpinnen
were extremely great at their instruments. I assume it must be really
hard to play as perfectly as they did, considering that Therion used a
lot of samplers in the gig. The choirs were awesome. Unfortunately, I
don't know their names (I only know Sarah Jezebel Deva, from Cradle of
Filth), but they did an awesome job, interacting their voices with the
Well, what do I have to say about Christopher Johansson? Man, he is a
genius. All his songwriting is very interesting, when it's not amazing,
and he can play perfectly live, sing (growl) greatly, and, yes, he's one
of the better front men I've ever seen in my life, better than a lot of
singers who think they can deal with the crowd. Only seeing him running
through the stage, playing all his solos, teasing the crowd, well, it
would worth the money to see this gig.
After all, I was completely satisfied with this gig. I was expecting
it to be boring, but Therion nailed it. One of the best gigs I've been
to this year, somehow different from the others: I left the venue with a
strange feeling, but it was great too.