Therion at Islington Assembly Hall, London - live review

The Gospel - live

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Therion have often been accused of peddling overblown nonsense. Fair, perhaps, but when it is as much fun as this, who cares? This is power metal with operatic overtones. The three vocalists – Thomas Vikström, Lori Lewis and Chiara Malvestiti – complement one another with astonishing clarity, while mainman Christofer Johnsson leads the musicians with masterful majesty. There’s a smattering of songs from new album Beloved Antichrist, and it’s clear from the reaction My Voyage Carries On and Temple Of New Jerusalem get that this is what the fans crave. Sadly, due to financial limitations, the band can’t put on the sort of lavish production their music should command. There’s considerable use of pre-recorded choral and orchestral parts to enhance those onstage, but they have no choice; laudable ambition currently outstrips budget. Yes, it is ludicrous and borders on camp, but everyone is enthralled by a band who are prepared to risk being a laughing stock, because their audience is as devoted and committed as they are.