Released: 2009, Nuclear Blast
Therion fans have had nothing to complain about this decade with the band issuing no less than twelve releases! That is an enviable pace for any recording act and this last offering of the decade is Therion’s fourth (!) double Live CD in a mere 7 years. They issued double live albums in 2002, 2005, 2008 and now 2009. That has got to be record of some sort. It is a tribute to the productivity of the band, the support of the label and the loyalty of the fans.
Miskolc is a city in Northern Hungary and the location where Therion recorded this album on June 17th, 2007 at the Miskolc International Opera Festival. This release comes in the bands now familiar triple disc package with the DVD of the show at an amazing value in the stores. As always there are lots of great liner notes and a fairly detailed and lengthy explanation from main-man Christofer Johnsson, elaborating on each piece and his theories of combining classical and metal.
The combination of metal and classical is nothing new, as far back as the early 70’s when Deep Purple tried it and now there are hundreds of releases where bands have utilized classical sounds and/or musicians. The Misckolc Experience stands out for a couple of reasons. The songs are not just combined into one big mess. Disc One is called ‘Classical Adventures’ and is generally quite ‘mellow’ with interpretations of classical music, some pieces familiar, some not as much. There are many, many guest musicians this time around.
Disc Two is comprised of Therion originals where the band gets to rock out a bit more. About half the songs are repeated from the last Double Live album. The band has a deep catalogue it would be nice to hear them stretch out in song-selection a bit, as several of the songs have appeared on the last two or three live albums in a row. Mix it up a bit! Choirs and the aforementioned classical artists flesh out the original songs very nicely.
The production and sound recording is superb, it is almost inexcusable these days to have a poorly recorded live album when everything comes direct from the digital board. No flaws in that department. The packaging and presentation are just fine, the usual high standard. The DVD is quite well done with a 19 minute bonus documentary and what seems to be a television broadcast of a Therion/classical concert from December 2008 in Bucharest. Nice features.
How necessary is this release? Well, it’s up to you. It’s mandatory for all die-hard Therion fans or a good introduction to the band that is doing something a little different. However if you are a casual fan, not too interested in classical music and already have a couple of Therion live albums in your collection, you might want to wait until the next studio platter.