Therion: Orchestration To The Nation Page 2

Deggial's intense and intellectual lyrical matter is placed on a bed of remarkably seamless classical metal, no other term for it. This time around, Chris has introduced brass and woodwinds, and the effect is haunting. Add to this the fact that the riffs are now reflecting an accessible '80s-style metal, Chris going through "a nostalgia trip for (his) early influences, Priest, Accept, Maiden, Scorpions", and you've got a bold new type of power metal, with of course, lots of operatic vocals of the purest nature. One large vocal feature: Hansi from Blind Guardian, who guests on 'Flesh Of The Gods', after Chris' first choice Udo Dirkschneider had to drop out due to promo tour commitments.

And it's all real, save for a few pesky parts. "For the entire pre-production we used my own new studio, but nothing we actually used as the real production. We went to a real studio for that. Some MIDI stuff is there. And there's hardly any keyboards on the album, some '70s keyboards at the end of the 'Deggial' song, because a church organ wasn't available. We started to think about it, but then I thought how the f**k do I notate a church organ, with the pedals and all that stuff? It would take so long to learn just get it into this one piece. And we also discussed moving the recording equipment to a church, all these costs for this little piece. And then to get somebody who could play it, I mean, I can play keyboards, more or less lousy, but not a church organ. And even someone who plays keyboards really well, can't play a church organ. It's a different instrument. You've got to find one of these really religious pricks who would want to do it on an album called Deggial, so forget it (laughs). And on top of that, a church organ is not dynamic. You press the key or you don't press it. So the difference between the real thing and the sample is not very much. And we actually took two different samples and combined them in a way and compared them with a real recording. There's no ear in the universe that could tell the difference. Otherwise we did everything in the real studio, and just did the pre-production as an overview."

So expect the best, Therion integrating clinical, perfection metal with a myriad of classical textures, assembled in a way that Chris is adamant, cannot be separated, Chris also adamant that this is all he is capable of writing and performing right now, that if he would try to write straight rock or straight classical, the results would be "miserable."

But a surprising army of fans seem to be rising to the challenge of Christofer's vision. Perhaps Deggial, with its heavy commitment to meticulous, clinical metal, and this expanded classical army that goes beyond strings and opera into oboes and french horns, just might eclipse Vovin in the sales race, as Chris hopes, picking up more steam in Japan and the U.S. Said effect might actually cause a situation where the band might play with a classical orchestra again.

"It would be f**king hard," remarks Chris with a sigh, "because we are even more musicians. But I should never say never, because things often turn out fortunate. But in the end, everything comes down to money. It's very boring that that is the case, I know, but if somebody pays us to do it, fine."