Live Gothic by Therion
Release date : July 2008
Reviewed by Mark Fisher
Live Gothic comprises Therion's July 2008 set, consisting of two live CDs, and one live DVD. Filmed and recorded in Warsaw, Poland on February 14th, 2007 during Therion's tour cycle in support of the formidable Gothic Kabbalah (2007), the set focuses upon that full length's material. However, several cuts are additionally lifted from the group's back catalogue. Both Lori Lewis and Katarina Lilja supply female vocals, whilst Mats Levén (whom departed in early August 2007, and was replaced by Thomas Vikström, vocalist upon 1992 Candlemass album Chapter VI) and the immortal Snowy Shaw supply male vocals. Sound was handled by Richard Peach and Petter Karlsson, whilst lighting duties went to Chris Parschau.
Upon Live Gothic, Therion seems both sonically and visually great. Since Gothic Kabbalah's issue, much has changed, and the fact that Therion triumphantly overcame those obstacles is a pleasant surprise. The set's two female vocalists (only one of which performed upon Gothic Kabbalah) seem to compliment one another, and boast competent onstage chemistry. Lurking from shadow to shadow, Snowy Shaw proves an engaging view, and lends a fresh dimension to Therion, already an eccentric act. For precisely this reason (well, alongside the concert's belly dancer), the set's DVD disc is its greater asset.
Numbers such as “An Arrow From the Sun”, “The Perennial Sophia”, and “The Blood of Kingu” form the tracks featured upon Live Gothic's inaugural disc, not to mention countless more. Meanwhile, cuts like “Rise of Sodom and Gomorrah” and “Grand Finale”, as well as a drum solo (opening the disc, the solo seems extremely inappropriate), comprise the tunes featured upon the set's sophomore disc. Without doubt, “To Mega Therion” is the set's highlight, a monster that's lent additional power via the aid of a live setting, and new musicians.
Should you feel that Therion's Progressive, Gothic, and Extreme Metal stylings are possibly sonics you'd take delight in, Live Gothic is a great way to investigate the group. Whilst the set boasts much to absorb, Live Gothic happens to be much less dense than May 2006 box set Celebrators of Becoming - at best, that respective set was a daunting view. Whether you're a collector of Therion's material, or a potential Therion fanatic, then you should purchase this specific release. If you cannot be described as a diehard collector of Therion's material, then Live Gothic is an unnecessary purchase. However, the set is nonetheless enjoyable.