THERION — Theli — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of

THERION - Theli cover
4.31 | 40 ratings | 4 reviews
Buy this album from MMA partners

Album · 1996

Filed under Symphonic Metal


1. Preludium (1:43)
2. To Mega Therion (6:34)
3. Cults of the Shadow (5:14)
4. In the Desert of Set (5:29)
5. Interludium (1:47)
6. Nightside of Eden (7:31)
7. Opus Eclipse (3:41)
8. Invocation of Naamah (5:31)
9. The Siren of the Woods (9:55)
10. Grand Finale / Postludium (4:04)

Total Time: 51:34


- Christofer Johnsson / guitars, vocals, keyboards
- Piotr Wawrzeniuk / drums, vocals
- Lars Rosenberg / bass
- Jonas Mellberg / guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboards

Guest Musicians:
- Dan Swano / vocals
- Anja Krenz / soprano
- Axel Patz / bass baritone
- Jan Peter Genkel / grand piano, keyboards- Gottfried Koch / keyboards
North German Radio Choir:
- Raphaela Mayhaus / soprano
- Bettina Stumm / soprano
- Ursula Ritters / alto
- Ergin Onat / tenor
- Joachim Gebhardt / bass
- Klaus Bulow / bass

Siren Choir:
- Anja Krenz / soprano
- Constanze Arens / soprano
- Riekje Weber / alto
- Stephan Gade / tenor
- Axel Patz / bass baritone

The orchestra is The Barmbek Symphony Orchestra, samples and keyboards.

About this release

Released by Nuclear Blast

Thanks to The Block, Unitron for the updates


More places to buy metal & THERION music

  • CDUniverse - Specializing in the sale of domestic and imported music CDs and Imports


Specialists/collaborators reviews

siLLy puPPy
Having recently purchased the 2014 remastered and expanded edition, I have fallen under the spell of the mighty THERION with their landmark album THELI. This album has become one of the greatest representations of just how well a death metal band can retain the pummeling ferocity of their roots while totally integrating the symphonic tenderness of classical music and the pompousness of classical opera, thus in effect totally reinventing itself without losing what came before. After all, their very name THERION is a Greek word for “beast,” and on this album THELI, which is the name of the great dragon in the ancient Jewish scripts of the Sefer Yetzirah, the band developed a totally new sound and although it can be a recipe that more often fails than triumphs, in THELI's case I would have to say it is an outstanding victory.

I think the reason why this whole thing works so well is because the band members didn't have the audacity to perform and create every new aspect of this music themselves. They incorporated a whole host of different players including not one but two choirs.... the North German Radio Choir and the Siren Choir. In addition to this we also get Dan Swano of Edge Of Santiy lending some guest vocals and many, many keyboardists covering a whole spectrum of sounds ranging from grand piano to symphonic progressive runs. Another wise decision was to incorporate the lyrical contributions of Thomas Karlsson as the sole writer of lyrics to provide the album with the esoteric feel that were derived from his mystical order called the Dragon Rouge. He would continue to be the lyricist from this point on.

On the remastered version we also get three bonus tracks, none of which are essential but pleasant as well as a DVD with the entirety of the album performed live in Budapest in 2007. A grand testimony to the efforts and ingenuity that went into the creation of this musical behemoth that hasn't aged badly at all and album that I love to listen to on regular basis. Mmmmmagnificent!
Therion's Theli is a competent and compelling occult symphonic metal album which shows a more nuanced and subtle touch than more brash and direct groups in the subgenre. Therion had been experimenting a while at this point with integratin symphonic elements into their sound, but this is generally considered to be where they hit the turning point from being a progressively-minded death metal group with symphonic touches to a primarily symphonic metal group with a death metal aesthetic, and it deserves its reputation as a gem of their discography with its capable handling of the orchestra to an extent which many symphonic metal groups still struggle to match.
Before they started a blooming business in cloning themselves, Therion made quite an interesting appearance on the extensive 90's metal scene. With Theli, Therion reached the end of their progression from a Celtic Frost replica into a highly influential blend of Celtic Frost's pioneering theatrical tendencies with an equal amount of Metallica thrash metal and Sisters of Mercy gothic rock.

Therion will probably not charm you much if you expect great musicianship, both the riffing and the song writing is fairly straightforward. But it is applied to maximum effect: they don’t repeat too much here, change tempo and melodies frequently enough and had plenty of ideas to keep your attention to the proceedings. Both the inspiration and the passion for what they were doing ran high in those days. The element that could make them appealing to progressive rock audiences is the addition of Beethoven-era classical influences and symphonic choruses. Celtic Frost pioneered this in metal but Therion apply it very effectively.

As happened with every remarkable heavy metal album from the 90's, also this one sprouted a multitude of look-alikes that would ape the style and clutter the metal scene for years to come. Nightwish, Within Temptation, After Forever and Therion themselves would turn this exciting approach into a commercially successful but artistically deficient self-parody. Before it got so far, Therion made this essential piece of music.
The Block
To Mega Therion

I picked this one up at my local record store for $0.99 because I thought I recognized the name of the band. And, for $0.99 how could I go wrong? At first I was a little disappointed wit hit because I wasn’t big into symphonic metal. But after a few listens I grew to enjoy the album very much.

One of the best parts of this album are the vocalists. I like how Therion included the choirs since it adds a real nice tough to the tracks. The harmonies that the choirs offer are really cool, too. I prefer the choirs, actually, more than the voice of the main vocalist, Christofer Johnsson. Especially on the track “To Mega Therion” where Christofer Johnsson just fells like he’s straining to get the vocals out of his throat. But, on the other hand, the choirs always seem to fir in well with the band. Christofer Johnsson’s style also reminds me a little of modern Mastodon’s. Another thing that I didn’t know about when I bought this album was that Dan Swanö was featured on “Cults of the Shadow” and “Nightside of Eden”. Liking Swanö as much as I do, those two songs mad me enjoy this album even more.

“Cults of the Shadow” might just be my favorite song on the album. It starts off with a cool bas and keyboard rhythm which carries over into the wicked vocals of Dan Swanö. Throughout the track the guitars and drums are very solid. Near the end of the song, The North German Radio Choir takes up the same bass and keyboard riff that started the song, except they sing it, not play it.

Overall this is a very solid album by Therion. The instrumental sections are great, along with great guest vocalists; Dan Swanö, The North German Radio Choir, and The Siren. The only thing I can find wrong with this album is that the guest singers are better than those that the band has to offer. One other thing is that most of the songs sound similar. This may be because the choirs all sound the same, but nonetheless this is an album well worth picking up. Therion gets 3.5 stars for one of their first symphonic metal albums.

Members reviews

No THERION THELI reviews posted by members yet.

Ratings only

  • albertobevi
  • barbacot
  • Diricul
  • sepozzsla
  • Olly
  • Unitron
  • luger7
  • michelandrade
  • Bosh66
  • DippoMagoo
  • ElGordoPopochas
  • Primeval Scum
  • yair010390
  • Nick & Simon
  • ProgHead
  • TheTalbotHound
  • stefanbedna
  • jsorigar
  • Zargus
  • Jan
  • Hazy7868
  • Wilytank
  • IMPF2112
  • Soul Dreamer
  • milosshomi80
  • Anster
  • 666sharon666
  • luanpedi
  • cannon
  • Lokus
  • dango
  • spitf1r3
  • Metallica999
  • sauromat
  • Sleeper
  • Bartje1979

Write/edit review

You must be logged in to write or edit review


Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
Buy this album from our partners
Rust in Peace Thrash Metal
Buy this album from our partners
Moving Pictures Hard Rock
Buy this album from our partners
Powerslave NWoBHM
Buy this album from our partners
Dirt Alternative Metal
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

Thresholds Sludge Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
New World - New Eyes Hard Rock
Buy this album from MMA partners
Live At Once Atmospheric Sludge Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
Impermanence Atmospheric Sludge Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
El viaje astral del cuy Grindcore
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Metal Online Videos

Where Wolves Have Sex
Tupan· 1 day ago
More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions


Latest Metal News


More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us