Label: Hammerheart Records
Three similar bands: Nightwish/Amorphis/Celtic Frost

Rating: HHHHHHH (3/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Seven Secrets of the Sphinx
2. Eternal Return
3. Enter Vril-Ya
4. Ship of Luna
5. The Invincible
6. Deggial
7. Emerald Crown
8. The Flight of the Lord of Flies
9. Flesh of the Gods
10. Via Nocturna
11. O Fortuna (Carl Orff cover)

Christofer Johnsson – guitar, keyboards
Kristian Niemann – lead guitar
Johan Niemann – bass guitar
Sami Karppinen – drums
Thomas Karlsson – lyrics (except "O Fortuna")

Of Darkness... (1991)
Beyond Sanctorum (1992)
Symphony Masses: Ho Drakon Ho Megas (1993)
Lepaca Kliffoth (1995)
Theli (1996)
A'arab Zaraq - Lucid Dreaming (1997)
Vovin (1998)
Crowning of Atlantis (1999)
Deggial (2000)
Secret of the Runes (2001)
Lemuria (2004)
Sirius B (2004)
Gothic Kabbalah (2007)
Sitra Ahra (2010)
Les Fleurs du Mal (2012)
Beloved Antichrist (2018)
Leviathan (2021)
Leviathan II (2022)

Hansi Kürsch – lead vocals on "Flesh of the Gods"
Jan Kazda – acoustic guitar
Waldemar Sorychta – acoustic guitar on "O Fortuna"
Alexander Schimmeroth – piano
Eileen Küpper – soprano (choir, solo)
Angelica Märtz – soprano (choir)
Dorothea Fischer – alto (choir)
Anne Tributh – alto (choir)
Georg Hansen – tenor (choir, solo)
Miguel Rosales – tenor (choir)
Jörg Braüker – bass (choir, solo)
Javier Zapater – bass (choir)
Heike Haushalter – first violin
Petra Stalz – second violin
Monika Maltek – viola
Gesa Hangen – cello
Konstantin Weinstroer – double bass
Annette Gadatsch – flute
Stefanie Dietz – oboe
John Ellis – French horn
Volker Goetz – flugelhorn, trumpet
Dietrich Geese – tuba, sousaphone, trumpet
Daniel Häcker – timpani

Recorded in Woodhouse Studio (Hagen, Germany)
Producer: Siegfried Bemm
Cover art by Nico & Theresa

Released 2022-09-09
Reviewed 2022-11-20


läs på svenska

The fourth of the six albums I write about from the Hammerheart Therion reissues is Deggial, it came in 2000 between Vovin and Secrets of the Runes that I have already written about. And in 2021 a metal magazine claimed it was the eighth best symphonic metal album of all time, and I have to admit that I cannot really see how that is possible. All the Therion albums I have written about so far is better than this one, and none of them is a timeless classic, and there are several timeless classics in the symphonic metal style of music. “A must listen for any symphonic metal enthusiast” says the press material, and I have to ask them why; is it to say that you have heard it, or Therion? Therion is a very influential band within the genre, so that could be why, because it isn’t really a great album and you can certainly do well without it. I hadn’t heard it until I started reviewing the six albums I got, and it was about two months ago – and I have still heard lots of great symphonic metal.

It is stylistically familiar to the rest of the Therion albums in this six-pack, symphonic, lots of choirs, that metal meets symphonic orchestra style that I have come to known to be Therion. This album sounds older than the predecessor Vovin, more dated, it has not withstood the test of time very well – like comparing sandstone with granite when it comes to erosion. It is probably the worst production of the six albums that I am working on. It is quite complex, yet it feels like it lacks variation and depth, and the playing time is tooooooo long. I don’t really want to listen as it is hard to keep paying attention, my mind zooms away to other things that is very unrelated to Deggial, and therefore I find it difficult to both describe and write about the album. Some reviews write themselves, while others are a product of very hard labour, and this is the latter, the problem just is that those that write themselves usually turns out better as well.

Perhaps it is logical that the reviews of worse albums also are worse written, Hansi Kürsch guests on a song that sounds like a Blind Guardian song, it is the only time something really happens on this endless album. It is not that bad, but I cannot pay attention to it, and I find myself very uninterested. This is because of the dated sound, and the uninteresting song – when something akin to Blind Guardian is the top pick you know that it cannot be that wonderful. So, I very much disagree with a lot that I read about this album, it may have been exciting and brilliant measured by the means of 2000, but sometimes time slashes that into nothingness, and this is one of those albums that are better of forgotten or just remembered but never heard.

I don’t think you need to listen to this one, there are better choices in the Therion catalogue. This is more like a waste of time.