Saturday, February 13, 2010

Therion - ...Of Darkness

From the tail end of 2003 to early 2006, I was a death/grind/crust connoisseur and purist, poo-poo'ing just about everything that wasn't heavy and brutal as a wrecking ball of clawhammer studded bismuth. Luckily, the pedantry eventually voided from my mentality bowels, and I started to branch out into more "adventurous" territory; starting with punk rawk, tunneling through 80's and 90's "emo" (see for a basic intro) and indie, noise rock, and settling where I am now as your dime-a-dozen "eclectic" avant-dada-art-noise-terrorist - an ancient hipster disposition provided courtesy of Mr. Internet, in other words.

But anyhoo, while my br00tal music binges are mostly a thing of the past, there's no denying how freakin' excellent much of my old favorites still sound today. Therion's mighty debut was actually an album I refrained from even acknowledging until around a year ago (in which case, the entire intro is irrelevant but fuck off - it's poorly edited or sits in my draft box for another month). Therion back in the güüd olde days were a bit of oddity - a Swedish band that neither sissified the death metal sound nor worked within the midrange-laden parameters established by Entombed, Dismember, or Grave. For all intensive purposes, the music captured on ...Of Darkness is pure early American death metal goodness, but with the crunch of Swede-distortion and a few inflections of epic-doom atmospheric keys.

Unfortunately, they quickly got bored with the idea of playing enjoyable music, so their next two are an increasingly uneven mix of the debut's death metal and excessive proggy keys and instances of operatic vocalization which gives way for a temple built around the latter in releases to come. I know how little weight this carries outside of the metallic haven, but when a band enlists a female keyboardist or two, it's typically a sign of trouble. No sexism from me, just a simple correlation.
Of course, that opens up a whole new can 0f worms: sexism in metal. Fortunately, I've got the saran wrap of laziness to stretch over that particular annelid vestibule so to ensure freshness for a further discussion when I pull out a porngrind album. Stay tuned!

(btw, this isn't my link. I'll upload my own later)

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