Therion - _Deggial_
(Nuclear Blast, 2000)
by: Pedro Azevedo (8 out of 10)
Therion's latest full-length is simultaneously an excellently performed and a somewhat dull album. Lacking some of the dynamics, complexity and (strangely) grandeur it needed, _Deggial_ was rather disappointing, considering their last two excellent albums, _Vovin_ [CoC #31] and _Theli_ [CoC #14]. Christofer Johnsson's chosen direction for _Deggial_ took Therion nowhere more interesting than before -- quite the contrary, in fact. The result is an album full of nice melodies and highly professional arrangements, but which lacks spirit, emotion and ability to enthral the listener. Personally, I also tend to miss the lead female vocalists from _Vovin_, while _Deggial_'s orchestral novelties hardly make a huge difference and even tend to subtract somewhat from its consistency at times. The guitar work is generally either rather unremarkable or unattractively retro-ish (more so than before) and once again not very important in their music. However, time that makes a difference: _Deggial_ tends to lack power and does not balance this failing with remarkable atmosphere or rapturous symphonies most of the time. Things are almost always quite laid back, with just a few exceptions, and the music tends to lack an impressive depth despite the multitude of nice arrangements and passages on each track; it is also somewhat less memorable and consistent than before, in my opinion. But all this, of course, only when compared to its superb predecessors, for the musical quality herein contained must nevertheless be strongly emphasized. Overall, however, _Deggial_ is just unable to provoke any real reaction in me other than the recognisement that this is an extremely well done, but ultimately somewhat unexciting album and quite a bit of a disappointment.

(article published 5/3/2000)

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