Napalm Records has announced the signing of Swedish symphonic metal pioneers THERION. Following the release of limited vinyl reissues of the band's critically acclaimed classic albums "Secrets Of The Runes", "Lemuria", "Sirius B" and "Gothic Kabbalah" in autumn 2022, THERION is now joining forces with Napalm Records for the release of their new full-length later this year.
THERION states: "After almost 30 years of being signed to Nuclear Blast Records, it felt like it was time to try something new when we were out of the contract.
"Napalm Records is one of the biggest and best metal labels around and they have shown interest in THERION for many years, so when the time came to look around for a new label, it felt natural to start negotiating with them. We came to terms and now we are thrilled to start working with them and have great confidence that they will do an amazing job with the coming final album in the 'Leviathan' trilogy."
Sebastian Münch, A&R at Napalm Records, says: "As a lifelong fan, it is with great pleasure that we announce the signing of THERION. As innovators of operatic metal, the band created timeless masterpieces with the albums 'Theli' and 'Vovin'. Recently, with the releases of 'Leviathan I' and 'II', Christofer [Johnsson, guitar/keyboards] started to tell a new musical story and a journey that we are very happy to walk together.
"Welcome to the Napalm family!"
When THERION came into being in 1988 by changing name from the already existing band BLITZKRIEG, which was founded a year earlier, Christofer had taken inspiration from SLAYER's "Reign In Blood", among other classic metal albums. At the beginning, the Swedes were firmly rooted in death metal, a genre which they helped to define, as witnessed by their debut album "Of Darkness..." (1991). Yet even back then, there were hints of "something else" lurking beneath the rough surface.
The use of female vocals is another core ingredient of THERION today, which developed gradually. CELTIC FROST had basically introduced the female element to extreme metal on "To Mega Therion" in 1985. THERION began with both a female and male vocalist emulating a church like choir already in their sophomore full-length "Beyond Sanctorum" (1992). With "Symphony Masses: Ho Drakon Ho Megas" (1993) and "Lepaca Kliffoth" (1995),Christofer continued to developed his trademark sound by gradually drifting towards cleaner vocals and more keyboards. With "Theli", the Swedes had firmly established a reputation of pushing the boundaries of metal in the 1990s — among such acts as their compatriots TIAMAT, THE GATHERING and MOONSPELL that were often referred to as "gothic metal" at the time.
THERION continued to break new ground leaving inspiration for others to follow in their wake: On "A'arab Zaraq - Lucid Dreaming" (1997),Christofer further explored the use of Near Eastern music in metal which he had already begun in 1992, while "Secret Of The Runes" (2001) dared to have Swedish lyrics in some songs.
While critics were left confused and fans challenged, THERION was often ahead of the times and vindicated in hindsight.
Christofer Johnsson - guitars and keyboards
Sami Karppinen - drums
Nalle "Grizzly" Påhlsson - bass
Thomas Vikström - lead vocals
Christian Vidal - guitar
Lori Lewis - vocals
Photo credit: Mina Karadzic