Therion - Crowning of Atlantis (1999) - One of the better rarities compilations - 68% (27/01/15)
Crowning Of Atlantis is the second compilation that Therion considers a regular full length effort. While this release is more interesting than the pale A'arab Zaraq - Lucid Dreaming offering two years earlier, this compilation is still only interesting for collectors and die-hard fans and occasional listeners should simply go for the "Atlantis Lucid Dreaming" release that combined the best moments of both compilations.
What we get here are first of all two leftover tracks from the Vovin sessions plus a completely new recorded song. While the short and elegant but somewhat shy and therefor unimpressive "From The Dionsyian Days" and the solid mid-tempo track "Mark Of Cain" that adds some hard rock elements to the band's symphonic metal sound are decent but can't full convince, it's especially the title song "The Crowning Of Atlantis" that really stands out as best song on the compilation. Imagine a gloomier and more grounded version of the excellent "The Rise Of Sodom And Gomorrah" where the guitar play is overall more prominent than the string sections and you know what you will get here.
The second part of this compilation is composed of one darker and more grounded alternative version of the excellent "Clavicula Nox" from the last regular release as well as three well done cover songs. Ralf Scheepers of Primal Fear and Gamma Ray fame can fully convince on his attempts at covering Loudness' "Crazy Nights" and Manowar's "Thor (The Powerhead)". The first interpretation stays true to the original and is a rare excellent heavy metal rendition by Therion while the second track also includes a few ambitious and majestic choirs that fit to what Manowar attempts but continously fails to create. The last cover song is Accept's "Seawinds" which turns out to be an amazing calm and enchanting ballad with hypnotizing female vocals. Therion really reinvent this song and make it sound like a mixture of a pop song of the eighties and spiritual classical music.
The last third of this compilation offers three very well done live tracks. While the present versions of "The Wings Of The Hydra" and "Black Sun" are decent I must point out the incredibly energizing rendition of "To Mega Therion". I can't help but having massive goosebumps and banging my head with passion and pride to this explosive version of a milestone in metal history. This is maybe the best live version ever released of this song despite many great future live records of the band. Along with the stunning title song and the great Accept cover, this is by far the best track on this compilation.
While this compilation offers only a handful of interesting songs, it has a much better hit and miss rate than the previous A'arab Zaraq - Lucid Dreaming. Still, I would simply recommend you to purchase the Atlantis Lucid Dreaming version from 2005 or to simply focus on the excellent regular studio records of this unique band.« In Flames - Clayman (2000) - Where old and new meet in reconciliatory harmony - 92% (13/01/15)HammerFall - Threshold (2006) - A lesson about the spirit of heavy metal - 80% (31/01/15) »
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