Symphony Masses: Ho Drakon Ho Megas

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Symphony Masses: Ho Drakon Ho Megas
Studio album by Therion
Released April 1993
Recorded December 1992–January 1993
The Montezuma Studio, Stockholm, Sweden
Genre Avant-garde metal, doom metal, death/doom
Length 37:34
Language English, Egyptian, Hebrew, Enochian
Label Megarock, Nuclear Blast
Producer Rex Gisslén, Therion
Therion chronology
Beyond Sanctorum
(1992)
Symphony Masses: Ho Drakon Ho Megas
(1993)
Lepaca Kliffoth
(1995)
Alternative cover

Symphony Masses: Ho Drakon Ho Megas is the third studio album released on April 1993 by Swedish band Therion. The album was remastered and re-released by Nuclear Blast in 2000 as part of The Early Chapters of Revelation box-set.

Etymology[edit]

In Ancient Greek Ho Drakon Ho Megas means "The Great Dragon". Uttering Ho Drakon Ho Megas is typically used at the end of ceremonies and rituals when conjuring Draconian[disambiguation needed] force in a magical order Dragon Rouge, in which head of the band Christofer Johnsson is a member.[1][2]

Recording and production[edit]

Active Records, Therion's music label, decided to scale down their operations and the band was switched to the new owners, Megarock Records. The band was recording the album from December 1992 to January 1993 in The Montezuma Studio in Stockholm, Sweden, with the aid of engineer Rex Gisslén. Symphony Masses: Ho Drakon Ho Megas was released under changed line-up; only Christofer Johnsson remained. During the playing Beyond Sanctorum tour, band ran into a few personnel problems. Oskar Forss decided to leave the band, Peter Hansson quit the band after health problems. Piotr Wawrzeniuk, from the band Carbonized in which Johnsson also played, took up drumming duties. The guitar was taken up by Magnus Barthelsson, an old school friend of Johnsson's, while Andreas Wahl took up the bass.[3]

Songs, lyrical themes and influences[edit]

Lilith is a theme of "Dark Princess Naamah" song

The album marks the band's departure from typical death metal in favor of experimentation with traditional doom metal, goth rock, progressive rock, jazz, symphonic classical, Persian traditional music, Arabic music, and 1980s heavy metal inspired by Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.[3][4] The focus of lyrical themes changed from social and environmental issues and Lovecraftian fantasy to occult topics, including qliphoth, the mythological demon Lilith, and the Abyss (Thelema).

The Japanese version released by Toy's Factory label includes three bonus tracks—"Enter the Voids" and 1991 demo versions of "Beyond Sanctorum" and "Symphony of the Dead", both from Beyond Sanctorum. A 2006 Therion's box-set Celebrators of Becoming includes the following songs from the album—"Baal Reginon" (recorded in Zug, Switzerland, 1994), "Dark Princess Naamah" (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1995), "A Black Rose" (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1995), "Dawn of Perishness" (Huddinge, Sweden, 1993 and Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1995).

The song "A Black Rose" has been included in a Nuclear Blast DVD compilation Death... Is Just the Beginning Classics released on March 25, 2002.[5]

Song lyrics has been published officially for four songs only—"Baal Reginon", "Dark Princess Naamah", "Powerdance" and "Procreation of Eternity".

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[6]

Symphony Masses: Ho Drakon Ho Megas mostly gained very positive reviews. It has received 4 of 5 rating by Allmusic with songs "Dark Princess Naamah", "Dawn of Perishness" and "Ho Drakon Ho Megas: The Dragon Throne/Fire and Ecstacy" picked by its staff,[6] and 3.47 of 5 by Rate Your Music community being number 473 in its 1993 ranking.[7]

Track listing[edit]

All songs were written by Christoffer Johnsson.

  1. "Baal Reginon" – 2:11
  2. "Dark Princess Naamah" – 4:18
  3. "A Black Rose (Covered with Tears, Blood and Ice)" – 4:01
  4. "Symphoni Drakonis Inferni" – 2:33
  5. "Dawn of Perishness" – 5:51
  6. "The Eye of Eclipse" – 5:01
  7. "The Ritual Dance of the Yezidis" – 2:08
  8. "Powerdance" – 3:06
  9. "Procreation of Eternity" – 4:05
  10. "Ho Drakon Ho Megas" – 4:19
    • Act 1: "The Dragon Throne" – 1:26
    • Act 2: "Fire and Ecstasy" – 2:53

Personnel[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalog Note
Sweden April 1993 Megarock CD MRR 002
U.S. January 24, 1994 Pavement CD, audio cassette 76962-32203 "Ho Drakon Ho Megas" song as a single track.
Japan December 21, 1995 Toy's Factory CD FCK-88770 "Ho Drakon Ho Megas" song as a single track. Three bonus tracks:
  • "Enter the Voids" – 4:18
  • "Symphony of the Dead (1991 demo version)" – 6:07
  • "Beyond Sanctorum (1991 demo version)" – 2:31
Germany 1997 Collectors Picture Disc Series vinyl LP, picture disc CPD 005 Limited edition of 500 copies. The second part of "Ho Drakon Ho Megas" is missing.[8]
Europe November 27, 2000 Nuclear Blast Europe CD NB 0579-2 Remastered. 3rd of 3 disc of The Early Chapters of Revelation box-set.
Russia January 2001 IROND CD IROND CD 00-22
U.S. April 17, 2001 Nuclear Blast America CD NB 0579-2 Remastered. 3rd of 3 disc of The Early Chapters of Revelation box-set.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Granholm 2005, pp. 198, 203.
  2. ^ "Embracing The Dark. The Magic Order of Dragon Rouge – book description". Official Therion store. Archived from the original on 2007-04-30. Retrieved 2007-07-25. 
  3. ^ a b "Biography". Official website. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  4. ^ "Symphony Masses: Ho Drakon Ho Megas". Official website. Retrieved 2008-04-30. 
  5. ^ "Various - Death...Is Just The Beginning Classics". Discogs. Retrieved 2008-05-06. 
  6. ^ a b "Symphony Masses: Ho Drakon Ho Megas". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-04-30. 
  7. ^ "Symphony Masses: Ho Drakon Ho Megas". Rate Your Music. Retrieved 2008-04-30. 
  8. ^ "Therion - Symphony Masses: Ho Drakon Ho Megas". Discogs. Retrieved 2008-04-30. 

References[edit]

  • Granholm, Kennet (2005). Embracing the Dark. The Magic Order of Dragon Rouge—Its Practice in Dark Magic and Meaning Making (digital). Åbo: Åbo Akademi University Press. ISBN 951-765-252-6. OCLC 62706461. 

External links[edit]

Audio samples