At three-hours long Therion’s 2018 rock opera, Beloved Antichrist, was hardly a record to fling on willy nilly, but was the sound of a band doing exactly as they pleased. On their 17th album, the theatrical progsters have refocused. This record is for the fans and, according to band mastermind Christofer Johnsson, “deliberately packed with hit songs”. In less than an hour the enigmatic Swedes turn up the bombast and tick all the boxes; The Leaf On The Oak Of Far is a full-throttle power gallop, Nightwish’s Marko Hietala has a bellow over the choir on Tuonela. Aži Dahāka and Nocturnal Light are cinematic, battle-opera anthems that are quick to reveal their charms. It all adds up to the most fun record Therion have released in ages.