Crowning Of Atlantis


Nuclear Blast Records, 1999

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


I know I've been writing a lot about metal over the last few weeks - hey, if that's what the labels send me, that's what I'll listen to. One conclusion I've come to, whether it's correct or not, is that a lot of the metal groups who come to us from overseas (especially from Scandanavia) fall under the death metal genre. Yes, that might be stereotyping, though it's not meant to be a negative. It's just that they seem to focus on this particular kind of metal and, in the case of some bands, have hammered it out into their own artform.

So when I picked up Crowning Of Atlantis, the latest release from Swedish metallers Therion, what I was expecting to hear was definitely not toned-down, more melodic (yet equally as intense) music. It threw me for a loop - and I loved every minute of it.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

This disc is very much a stop-gap album while the band puts the finishing touches on their next studio album. The songs featured cover a wide spectrum of the band's personnel history - so much, in fact, that to try and name some players on the album wouldn't do the band justice. So forgive me if I don't provide a grocery list of the band members; if you're net-savvy, you'll be able to find detailed information on this album with a minimal amount of searching.


Crowning Of Atlantis combines two worlds of music. The first is a more classical style of metal, heard in the vocals and in the guitar solos. Tracks like "Mark Of Cain" and the title track are evidence of this, and are wonderful ways to kick this disc off. The other world is that of cover tunes - a curious inclusion, admittedly, but Therion pulls them off as if they were their own. So, if you hear a song like "Crazy Nights" and you tell yourself, "I've heard that before," you're not going crazy... you have heard it (namely, you've heard Loudness perform it). Other cover tunes from Manowar and Accept ("Thor (The Powerhead)" and "Seawinds", respectively) are included.

Okay, so now your mouth is watering for this disc, right? Well, hang on, Bucky, 'cause Therion throws one more surprise curveball into the mix. Closing out Crowning Of Atlantis are three live tracks, all of which seem to do a good job of capturing the power of a live Therion performance to compact disc.

To the new listener, Crowning Of Atlantis might be a cruel trick to play on them. This disc leaves you wanting to hear more - much more - from this band. I know that the disc barely whetted my appetite for their music. If anything, this should keep people hanging on to the edge of their chairs until the new studio album comes out. Until then, unless you break down and buy the backcatalog of this group (which, compared to some of the bands out there today, is quite extensive), Crowning Of Atlantis will do just nicely.

Rating: A-

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© 1999 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Nuclear Blast Records, and is used for informational purposes only.