“Celebrators Of Becoming” by Therion

Artist: Therion
Title: “Celebrators Of Becoming”
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date:
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Rating: 5/5

If you are someone who listens to Operatic/Symphonic Metal then the name of Therion should strike a chord of instant respect in you. Without the efforts and influences of Therion there is a good chance that bands like Nightwish and Within Temptation would have never been able to come about. This DVD set arrives as the perfect compliment to the bands World Tour of 2004-2005; it gives the ardent fan more than enough Therion to absorb but more importantly gives the new acolyte a perfect tool to see how the band does what they do best. “Celebrators Of Becoming” is a hefty package as well, holding strong at four fully loaded DVD’s with 2 CD’s to close it out. Given the scope of this release, we have broken down the contents to better focus on what is inside.

DVD1: Live In Mexico City 2004 – Blood Of Kingu, Uthark Runa, Seven Secrets Of The Sphinx, Asgard, Son Of The Sun, Invocation Of Naamah, Typhon, Draconian Trilogy, Flesh Of The Gods, Schwarzalbenheim, Ginnugagap, In Remembrance, Wild Hunt, The Invincible, Melez, Rise Of Sodom And Gomorrah, The Khylsti Evangelist, Siren Of The Woods, Quetzalcoatl, Wine Of Aluqah, Cults Of The Shadow, To Mega Therion, Iron Fist.
*** This concert from Mexico was the second night of the bands world tour, and to me you would never tell the band was warming up for the coming adventures. Latin American countries always seem the most diehard in the videos that bands put out (just look at anything filmed in Rio and tell me if you disagree). It’s a passion that I think more Metal heads need to revisit for while I am sure our appreciation is as pure, it is clearly not as apparent as consistently as one sees here. This was my favorite section of the release for having just seen the band in late 2005 when they finally made it to New York this disc reminded me very much of the concert I had seen. It added to the memory of the event and I sat through the entire thing much like many others who see it will do. A great sampling of the “Lemuria/Sirius B” album is showcased and if you have not heard that album yet, it is a must buy. Look for the review of the album elsewhere in the website. The two CD’s included in the set feature this same concert so you can load up your music player, or bring them along with you on any long journey you might take.

DVD2: Tour Report 2004-2005 – This is a super-loaded disk with sound checks, improvised solos and presentations of 30 songs performed in 16 different countries. There are special guest appearances by members of Tristania and Trail Of Tears in a couple of them as well as ample behind the scene footage and what goes on in the day of the bands life.
*** The animated menu for this section is amazing as you literally are hopping the world map of the toured locations. You click the country and appropriate city that you want to watch a song from. They did a great job on the functionality of this release DVD especially and it even comes with the sound of a jet flying back and forth for added atmosphere. A nice touch if you ask me.

DVD3: Live At Wacken 2001 – Seven Secrets Of The Sphinx, The Invocation Of Naamah, Cults Of The Shadow, Birth Of Venus Illegittima, In The Desert Of Set, Rise Of Sodom And Gomorrah, Wine Of Aluqah, To Mega Therion.
Video Clips Section: Pandemonic Outbreak (1992), A Black Rose (1993), The Beauty In Black (1995), To Mega Therion (1996), In The Desert Of Set (1997), Birth Of Venus Illegitima (1998), Summernight City (2001).
*** Another concert and this one being from the prestigious Wacken Festival gives the viewer a few different songs to enjoy and since it’s from a couple of years ago you are not seeing a mere continuation of the concert of DVD one. The band also includes all of their video films, which is a pleasant addition on a DVD set like this. More bands need to incorporate their video releases into something grand rather than just releasing them on their own disk in my opinion.

DVD4: Historical Journey 1989-2001 – Paroxysmal Holocaust, Asphixiate With Fear, Dark Eternity, The Return, Pandemonic Outbreak, Enter The Depths Of Eternal Darkness, Dawn Of Perishness, Baal Reginon, Wings Of The Hydra, Melez, Symphony Of The Dead, A Black rose, Dark Princess Naamah, Let The New Day Begin, Dawn Of Perishness, Black, Cults Of The Shadow, To Mega Therion, Under Jolly Roger, Black Sun, Rise Of Sodom And Gomorrah, Enter Vril-Ya, Behind The Scenes, Riders Of Theli, Theniemannbrothersjam, To Mega Therion, Wings Of The Hydra, Behind The Scenes, Seawinds, Secret Of The Runes, Summernight City, The Beauty In Black, Behind The Scenes.
*** Outside of DVD1, this particular piece will probably be of the most interest to the viewer. It takes you all the way back to the bands infancy in 1989 where you see them as a young band performing in small clubs to limited audiences. Sharing ones humble beginning footage is a great thing but be aware that some of this footage is not all that quality in terms of its recording. The idea that it exists and is presented for the viewer is what matters most. Fans of today will also find it interesting to watch how a band that started out as more of a Death Metal act, ended up becoming a leader in the genre of Symphonic and Progressive styles that has yet to be matched.

This review is for the deluxe edition of the release (6 disc set), there is another that DOES NOT include the audio CD’s. Wrapped in a stunning slip case, the insides fold out to reveal detailed artwork that captures the spirit and style of the group. There is also a mini-booklet that is loaded with liner notes and explanations by leader Christofer Johnsson. A great amount of band photos are also featured in this booklet and it gives the viewer something cool to leaf through while they watch the DVD or listen to the CD’s. This release comes with the highest of recommendations because there is so much to absorb and enjoy. It is not the type of DVD one can get through in a single sitting and will definitely sit beautifully in any DVD collection one is building. If carefully executed Metal that defies most conventions appeals to you then you should already be ordering this.

Track Listing (CD1&2):
1. Blood Of Kingu
2. Uthark Runa
3. Seven Secrets Of The Sphinx
4. Asgard
5. Son Of The Sun
6. Invocation Of Naamah
7. Typhon
8. Draconian Trilogy
9. Flesh Of The Gods
10. Schwarzalbenheim
11. Ginnugagap
12. In Remembrance
13. Wild Hunt
14. The Invincible
15. Melez
16. Rise Of Sodom And Gomorrah
17. The Khylsti Evangelist
18. Siren Of The Woods
19. Quetzalcoatl
20. Wine Of Aluqah
21. Cults Of The Shadow
22. To Mega Therion
23. Iron Fist

Official Website: www.megatherion.com

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