Therion at Islington Assembly Hall, London - live review

The Gospel - live

Crowd shot

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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.

Malcolm Dome

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica, published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009. He died in 2021