Monday, April 11, 2011

Therion - Symphony Masses: Ho Drakon Ho Megas

Welcome to Swedish death metal week! I'll kick things off with one of my favorites of the genre--Therion's Symphony Masses: Ho Drakon Ho Megas.
Therion share a lot in common with Atrocity - both started out playing strange forms of death metal, and began adding less savory constituents as they "matured". At least Therion have remained somewhat listenable, but this is neither here nor there because Ho Drakon is one of Therion's earlier death metal offerings and remains the crown jewel in their discography.  
Hemming together a mixture of classick Swedish death metal riffs and unconventional songwriting + sound effects that bring to mind Celtic Frost's Into the Pandeamonium, Therion created an album that is a pure headbanging delight. The best thing about this Ho Drakon is that there is nothing else that sounds like it...I mean nothing. It seems to have caught that last arterial thump of creativity that pulsated in early '90's Swedish death metal...when band's were either kicking ass or being weird, and sometimes doing both!! Ho Drakon does both ridiculously well.

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