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Therion (and others) – Metal Meeting
Written by Ton Dekkers   
Sunday, 02 March 2014

Therion (and others) – Metal Meeting
@ Effenaar Eindhoven (Netherlands)
Saturday 14 December 2013

 

For me the first day of the Metal Meeting Eindhoven, for quite some visitors already the third day full of Metal. This event started in 2009 as a single day event using both stages of the Effenaar. It has now grown to a three day event with almost 50 unknown and well-known bands. Like always the number of female fronted bands is limited at this kind of festival. In total 4 female fronted bands were scheduled. Izegrim (NL) was playing on Thursday and on Saturday Arkona (RU), Asrai (NL) and Therion (SWE) played. The last is not female fronted in the full sense but the female singers play a significant role in the show.


Therion

 


The metal styles and the number of bands also influences the behavior of the participants. The bar area is almost as important as the stage areas. People select their preferred bands to go to one of the two stages or stay to have a drink with their buddies. This created a very relaxed and informal atmosphere that most people really enjoyed. Also band members that played on other days (Izegrim) and band members that did not play (Mark Jansen – Epica) stayed/came to party.

 

Therion 

 

Arkona was scheduled early in the afternoon. This is one of the last gigs with this line-up: the dynamic Maria “Masha Scream" Arkhipova (vocals), Ruslan “Kniaz” Rosomakherov (bass), Sergey "Lazar" Atrashkevich (guitar), Vladimir "Wolf" Reshetnikov (flute, bagpipe) and Vlad "Artist" Sokolov (drums). Now, new on drums is Andrey Ischenko. Their Pagan / Folk Metal gave mixed feelings. The ones that went to the large stage and knew what to expect got their usual energetic show with Masha in very good shape. Some for whom Arkona was new went to the other stage because they preferred more black or death metal. Anyway, those who stayed had a great party. If the music and show is OK, the lyrics are not always important. I assume the number of people in the crowd that understand Russian was quite limited. For me (hearing them for the third time within a year) the songs start to sound familiar but Russian is not my language either, so it’s not possible to recall the set list.

 

Arkona 

 

Larger and additional photos

After the Arkona show I had to rush to the small stage. There Asrai started their show. To start with the line-up: Margriet Mol (vocals), Karin Mol (drums), Manon van der Hidde (Keys), Rik Janssen (guitar) and Jett Dadswell (bass). Don’t expect with three ladies in the band that the music will be at the soft end of the metal spectrum. Asrai brings quite heavy stuff. Sometimes it’s not bad playing on the small stage. Asrai was able to get their space quite packed. And although it was still “early” most reacted positively to Asrai’s performance. Rik used the limited space on stage very well and together with Margriet entertained the crowd. Asrai played songs from the albums Touch in the Dark (1), Pearls in Dirt (2) and the newly released EP Between Dreams and Destiny (3). Unfortunately the time keeper was very strict and the small delay at the start caused the band to skip the last song ‘Sour Ground’ (2).

 

Asrai 

 

Set list:
Whisper (1)
Stone Cold (3)
Delilah’s Lie (2)
Restless (1)
Stay with Me (2)
Ghost (3)
All seems so Hollow (3)
Awaken (2)

 

Asrai 

 

Larger and additional photos

My next band to cover from this Metal Meeting day was Therion. They were scheduled as headliner late in the evening. So I had to kill some time. With bands on various stages and some friends to talk to it was not that hard. Bands I went to were Elvenking, Arcturus and Coroner. Elvenking from Italy can be characterized as melodic metal with the addition of the violin. They also add some theatrical elements to make it nice show as well.

Norwegian Arcturus plays Avant-Garde Progressive Metal also with theatrical elements and featured belly-dancer Johanna Fakhry. Totally different was Coroner from Switzerland. The trio played Technical Thrash Metal and on stage they were supported by an additional tour member, a little in the back for the ‘technical’ electronic bits (keys, samples).

 

Therion 

 

Therion’s tour in which the Metal Meeting was included is called the “Rock Opera Unveiled” tour. As part of the gig Therion performed some songs from the upcoming release. The line-up for the tour: Christofer Johnsson (guitar), Christian Vidal (guitar), Nalle Påhlsson (bass), Johan Koleberg (drums), Thomas Vikström (vocals), Linnéa Vikström (vocals) and Lori Lewis (vocals).

Before going to the Opera excerpts, Therion started with some ‘golden oldies’. Although the line-up has often changed since these songs were released, they were as strong as ever. The opening from the album Vovin (1998); “The Rise of Sodom and Gomorrah” is more than 15 years old but still as fresh and catchy as when it was released. It is also one of my favorite songs. Next came two songs from Secrets of the Runes. These are a little less old but still fresh too, maybe because the influences of time and new members brings different accents and flavors to the songs.

The new part started with “Overture” like a real opera. The vocal lines were as you might expect a little more complex because a story has to be told. The male vocals are taken care of very well by Thomas. He has to cope with being the only dedicated male vocalist in this setting. The female vocals are by Thomas’ daughter Linnéa and the great Lori. The vocals match very well and the varied music, with a clearly recognizable Therion sound, make me looking forward to the full release.

 

Therion 

 

The performance on stage is also great. The front line with Christian, Christofer and Nalle is dynamic and energetic, showing a lot of pleasure in what they are doing. The vocalists make their own show especially Linnéa is bringing a lot of movement and fun. And not just on the stage, there is more than sufficient interaction with the audience too. Adding to that the appearance of belly-dancer Johanna Fakhry, you have all ingredients for a very lively, entertaining set with great music. As a fan from the beginning I’m a little biased, and different from other people present who prefer the more brutal raw metal instead of the more operatic melodic metal.

The show closed with oldies again with the focus on the album Vovin. The encore was one of my other Therion’s favorites: “To Mega Therion” from Theli (1996). This bombastic, symphonic masterpiece with great chorus lines was a perfect end for a great show.

 

Therion 

 

Set list:
The Rise of Sodom and Gomorrah (Vovin – 1998)
Ginnungagap (Secret of the Runes -2001)
Muspelheim (without intro) (Secret of the Runes -2001)

Rock Opera excerpts:
Overture
End of the Dynasty
Who's Your God?
Onda Toner
Sad End

Birth of Venus Illegitima (Vovin – 1998)
Wine of Aluqah (Vovin – 1998)
The Wild Hunt (Vovin – 1998)
Flesh of the Gods (Deggial - 2000)
Invocation of Naamah (Theli – 1996)
Raven of Dispersion (Vovin – 1998)

 

Therion 

 

Encore:
To Mega Therion (Theli – 1996)

Larger and additional photos

Although Therion was not the last band of that evening, I left after their gig. I wanted to keep the memory of this great show as long as possible and not be interrupted by something else. And I’m awaiting the release of the Rock Opera.

 

Therion 

 

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