Therion reveals upcoming Rock Opera project updates

Christofer Johnsson, the mastermind and founder of the legendary Symphonic metal act, Therion have revealed some details about their upcoming “Rock opera” project from their official Facebook page, quoted below:

Dear fans,

The coming rock opera will be about the rise and fall of Antichrist and is inspired by and partly (not to be confused with “entirely”) based on Vladimir Soloviev‘s “A Short Story of the Anti-Christ”. I have been attempting to write a regular opera for some years following the same theme (which is now being therionized to fit in with what we are writing for this rock opera). We don’t have a name for it yet, but for the time being we could humorously give it the working title Antichrist Superstar.

We will be performing beta versions of the overture and 4 excerpts from the opera. An excerpt is a part of something (not to be confused with the concept of a song;) you might consider it torn-out pieces from a puzzle. Here is a list of what we will be performing:

1. Overture. It contains the main theme of the opera and simply has to be played.
It’s the beta version 0.8 and still has some potential to expand further, but the parts that are already there will likely sound something in the vein of this version.

2. End of The dynasty / Military March of the United States of Europe
In the book there is an Asian rule over Europe for 50 years after China and Japan have successfully invaded and occupied the continent. In the end, Europe manages to fight back and drives the occupants back east. “End of the dynasty” is the swan song of the last Asian emperor of this dynasty. The orchestration needs to be worked on a bit more, but the basic idea is there. Musically, it’s band and orchestra playing all the time in a very therionish type of manner.

The military march is played while the european army marches back. It has not been orchestrated yet, so we will just be performing it in a guitar-based form. But I actually have become quite fond of it this way, so maybe we’ll partly keep it like that and just add on some piccolo flute and maybe some brass typical for military orchestras.

3. Who’s your God?
Here Antichrist is being interrogated by some prominent religious people. He is at the time a world leader and by far the most beloved leader of all times.
Musically, this is an example of a part where the guitars have a smaller role and the focus is very vocally oriented and mostly backed up by orchestra, bass and drums. There’s still work to be done on it; there is a need for chorus to perform it live like the composer intended. But you will get a good sense of it.

4. Onda toner (swedish for “evil tones”)
This is a part that comes fairly soon after “Who’s your God” in which there is an outspoken accusation that he is the Antichrist. Making an opera/rock opera on the theme like this without including the famous “Diabolus in musica” interval would of course be an epic fail. So in the heat of this very intense moment, you will be enjoying infernal tritones and diminished chords backed up by unusual drumbeats to 3/4 time signatures – for those of you not acquainted with musical terms; it sounds very infernal and weird (in a good way.)
This part feels quite finished in terms of orchestration and vocal melodies/harmonies. It will require many more singers, when performed as composed later on, however.

5. Sad end
This is a very emotional duet at the end of the opera. I don’t want to spoil what happens (the end of our opera will be totally different from the Soloviev book, as it has been completely rewritten,) but it involves two important people in the opera having lost everything they fought for and, at the time of dying, they start reflecting on their lives and things they did wrong.

The vocal duet is pretty much finished. There will be more stuff added before the duet, but this particular piece will sound at least close to this. Orchestration is quite basic at the moment. We will see if we keep it that way (it is sometimes better) or if we want work more on it.

The purpose of this tour is to try out some of the parts of the rock opera to see if we’re on the right way or not. So we are looking forward to all constructive comments afterwards.

Before commenting keep this in mind: Imagine that a movie is about to be filmed and needs film music. They need a death metal song for one scene, a love ballad for another scene and a heavy metal track for the third scene. You’re being asked your opinion if they are good songs. Then it’s totally useless bombing the movie producer with with opinions like “I don’t like ballads/death metal” or “I prefer the heavy metal song because that’s my kind of music”. He wants to know if each song is good or not, not what taste you have in terms of music styles. If the movie needs to have a love ballad at a certain place then it will be a ballad there. And he wants to know if it’s a good ballad or not.

Same thing applies to opinions on what we perform from the opera on this tour. It’s totally useless information to us what styles you prefer. The opera needs to have different styles in music when different things happen on stage. You can not have happy music when there is a sad scene and an army can not march to just any kind of music. So each type of music needs to be judged for what it is and what it is supposed to be. I know this may be a slightly complicated request for many people on internet who are used to comment off-the-cuff on things they come across on the web, without any deeper reflection or paying any attention to circumstances and facts. But none of those are likely to read this text anyway, so I’m fairly confident at least a majority will be able to supply us with intelligent usable feedback. It’s a great bonus if people also make an effort to use their imagination a bit extra and picture how these pieces will sound later with more singers and a real orchestra (obviously we use samples and keyboards to demonstrate this now.) You may consider what you will hear an advanced sketch of something that later will be an oil painting.

For those of you coming to see us on this tour: there will be an attractive special offer concerning a future release for the fans coming to the concerts. Hint: It could be a good idea to bring 20 euro extra to the show. ; )

Sincerely yours,
Christofer Johnsson

Here are the upcoming band’s tour with SoundStorm, The Devil and Arkona.

Read more news about Therion at the band’s official website.

Leaves’ Eyes new album “Symphonies of the Night” teaser and details

Symphonic metal band, Leaves’ Eyes (led by ex-Theatre of Tragedy vocalist, Liv Kristine Espenaes Krull) have revealed the details and the album trailer for the upcoming release, titled “Symphonies of the Night” which sets to be released this 15th November. The band released the press statement about the stories of their upcoming album from their official website.

Dear Fans, Friends &…Fangs!

“Are we living to die…am I here just to be your sacrifice…” “Symphonies of the Night” unveils the stories of eleven heroines from breathtaking legends and history books.”

“Symphony of the Night” is the title track on our up-coming album, based on a lesbian vampire novel and thriller by J. Sheridan Le Fanu written as early as in 1871.To many he is THE Irish writer of Gothic tales and mystery novels.”

“It’s about the beautiful Carmilla Karnstein, who preys on a young girl, Laura, but also falls in love with her. Carmilla feels guilty for sucking the life force out of Laura, but also professes love and adoration for her. Like many vampire romances, their love is doomed and unhealthy, but also glorious.”

“I hope you like my tribute to Le Fanu: Leaves’ Eyes’ symphony of your night!”


Track listing:
01. Hell To The Heavens
02. Fading Earth
03. Maid Of Lorraine
04. Galswintha
05. Symphony Of The Night
06. Saint Cecelia
07. Hymn To The Lone Sands
08. Angel And The Ghost
09. Éléonore De Provence
10. Nightshade
11. Ophelia

Bonus tracks:
12. Eileen’s Ardency (feat. Carmen Elise Espenæs)
13. One Caress (Depeche Mode cover)

Valkyrian Music has recently conducted an interview with Liv Kristine and talks about the band’s latest release.
Check the interview here.

Listen to the audio samples of the upcoming album:

The official trailer for “Symphonies of the Night”

“Hell to the Heavens” official streaming

Throwback Thursday with After Forever

Just bumped in to this old live video of Dutch Symphonic/Progressive metal band, After Forever on YouTube. This video just suddenly bring me to the days where they’re still active in the metal scene.

After Forever officially started 1995 and officially broke-up in 2009. They have released 5 studio albums, 1 EP and 1 compilation through out their entire career. They are also one of the FIRST female fronted metal bands alive during the 90s music sensation. I was actually one of the thousands of fans who were very devastated that they parted ways. Well, at least, some of them are now active in their current bands and happy with it.

Floor Jansen is currently active with her current bands, ReVamp and Nightwish. Sander Gommans is currently with HDK up to the moment and Joost van der Broek is working with different bands like ReVamp, Star One, Sun Caged, The Supremacy, Ayreon and Epica.

Here’s a video of acoustic performance of “My Choice” and “Eccentric”