Therion – Islington academy, London – 13th January 2016

Tonight’s gig had a very early start – 6pm doors with the first band on stage at 6.15pm.  Sadly being a weeknight then this inevitably meant most people didn’t arrive in time to see the first band.  Opening act Imperial Age therefore played to a tiny number of people which is a real shame as the few minutes of their set that I caught was excellent.

Next up came Ego Fall, a band from Inner Mongolia – proof that metal is getting more and more global.  Their set started with one of the band members seated at the front of the stage playing a traditional instrument, which was interesting but proved to be more an intro than representative of the main part of the set.  Once the rest of the band joined him on stage they got down to business.  They’ve got a great heavy sound, but with some traditional instruments used to add an interesting element to the metal.  It’s a really good set and it’s clear to see that the band are all having a great time on stage.  A band that’s certainly well worth a listen.

Next came Luciferian Light Orchestra, the side project of Therion guitarist Christofer Johnsson.  It’s less operatic than Therion and has a darker more gothic feel, and really goes down well with the crowd.  It was my first time hearing the material as I hadn’t got round to checking out the album and missed their set at FemMe in Eindhoven last year, but I was very impressed by what I heard – impressed enough to buy the album afterwards.
Finally came Therion, and things kicked up a notch.  Instead of one vocalist you get multiple vocalists – three in fact (not counting other band members adding some backing vocals), one male vocalist and two female.  With the three singers doing lead parts on different songs then you get constant movement as one moves to the back and another takes centre stage.  The two female singers have very different looks which fits to their different vocal styles – Linnéa Vikstrӧm has more of a rock or metal style and look while Chiara Malvestiti has a soprano operatic look and style.

It’s a fantastic show from the singers and musicians – Therion never disappoint even though there are some obvious omissions from the setlist, and some less obvious songs included, but the fans still love it, and in fact it’s good to see bands play plenty of different material on tours rather than sticking to the same dozen or so songs on every tour like some bands do.  A great end to a great night of music.

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About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.