This is one of the most difficult reviews I even had to write, for many reasons. But I will try to do my best and be as objective as possible.
A few weeks ago, the Swedish Symphonic Metal band Therion released its 16th studio album, which is a VERY ambitious (not to say pompous) piece of work. Beloved Antichrist is a Metal opera, based on Vladímir Soloviov’s story “A Short Tale Of The Antichrist”. The opera is separated into 3 acts (3CD’s) and lasts over 3 and a half hours featuring 29 characters played by 29 singers.
As you can understand, one of the most important things about this album is the vocals. With so many different singers playing a big variety of roles, this is the thing you will notice first of all. Most of the singers have impressive voices and do an excellent job in their roles, but here lies one of the problems with this album. Because, the impression I got is that, this time the band seems to be a supplement to the opera, and not the other way round. It sounds like there are some musicians who are trying to support the singers and “dress” their voices with the music in the background.
Another (big) problem is the length of the album. It is long, very long! 3.5 hours of Metal opera is not something easy to digest. (Well, for me at least). It needs a lot of efforts and devotion in order to be able to appreciate what Therion are offering this time. First of all, you will have to stick to the story and try to follow the plot. Because otherwise, it is very difficult to understand what is going on.
Speaking for myself, I tried to listen to the whole album 3 times, but didn’t make it. So, I started playing each CD separately. I must admit that it worked better for me.
On the other hand, Beloved Antichrist is a very impressive album, including some very good songs, excellent guitar riffs, and great vocals! Maybe it’s more opera than Metal, but that doesn’t change the quality of it.
So, if you’re looking for an experience in the perfect marriage of classical symphonic music and metal, you must look no further than this record. Put the album in your CD player, and get ready for the long journey that you’re going to embark on.
My Rating: 3.0 (out of 5.0) stars
Here's a few songs for you, to get a first idea: