Neck is fragile, but improving all the time, so it seems physiotheraphy and other types of self healing is doing its job. I feel totally sure I will avoid surgery now. I’m gonna have to stay away from headbanging and carry too heavy load forever, but that doesn’t seem like a big deal when I was in a condition that I was unable to even use my right hand for eating or lie down sleeping 2,5 months ago.
Over 2 weeks ago I started to get HUGE pains in my arm, shoulder and back. It hurted worse if I and got worse by each day. In the end I could not even sleep in bed anymore and had to sit up sleeping in the sofa every night.
Medicare in Sweden don’t work anymore. Equipment is great and the doctors are competent and do their best, but due to the massive population increase, the capacity and medical infrastructure has lacked behind each year and just seem to get worse and worse. After I got in contact with the emergency, it took me eight (8) days before I got to see a physiotherapist and he could not make a proper diagnosis without a MRI scan of the neck. It would have taken up to a month before I would get a MRI done and then it can take another month before I get the results.
At this point I slept l worse and less each night and when I tried to play guitar, I would only play half a song before the pain made me stop + my motorics got so bad that I was even physically unable to play most songs.
In order to not have to cancel 70.000 Tons of Metal and in order to faster get a diagnosis and get it cured, I (upon recommendation) decided to fly to Moscow and have it done there. They are at the same technical and competence level like in Sweden, but have capacity to treat patients immediately. So I got an appointment straight away, flew there and got a fantastic care with not only MRI, but also got to see a neurologist, physiotherapists and specialists. So I got a diagnosis the same day and it seems I have two spinal disc herniations in my neck, one really bad and one small that could get worse. In plain english this means that two of my discs in the neck are worn out (from headbanging and sitting too much in front of computer in the office and the studio) and have cracked so that fluid runs out from it. The fluid put pressure on the nerves in the spinal chord and create pain in shoulder/arm/back and distort mobility in the right arm.
In order to stabilise the neck, I have to wear a support collar for 2 weeks (even on stage) and they gave me cortisone injections to block parts of the pain temporary. So now I can at least (after 2 weeks of sleeping sitting in the sofa) sleep in my bed and with some pain and efforts I can play a festival set of simplest possible songs. So at least we don’t have to cancel.
After the cruise I will go back to Russia to meet a world class neuro surgeon who will determine wither it’s better to do surgery or to treat this without knives. The advantage with surgery is that if successful, I would recover much quicker. But surgery in the neck is always a risk and if worse come to worse, a failed surgery there could end up with me never being able to play on stage again.
To treat without surgery will be very painful and normally take 4-5 months before fully recovered (if unlucky longer), but this is what I am hoping for and the specialists that gave me the diagnosis were quite sure it would be treatable that way. But we will know for sure what the deal is after I’ve met the neuro surgeon afther the cruise.
So what does all this mean? It means that I will be playing at 70.000 TOM with great difficulties and using a support collar. It also means that the Rock Opera will get some month or two delayed, as I can’t sit in the studio at the computer (I will have to use a studio assistant) and not for as long sessions as usual.
It also means that if I end up having to do surgery, there is always a small risk that the cruise will end up being my final stage performance (which is a good reason for choosing the best surgeon Russia has to offer as soon as possible before the odds get worse – rather than taking my chances being assigned one randomly in Sweden and maybe have to wait many months before they have time to do it).
Finally I would like to give a special THANK YOU to the following:
Russian Embassy of Stockholm and the IFS Visa Centre in Stockholm. You people did much more than obligated by your duties and thanx to your extra efforts, I could get visa done in time for the hastily booked trip.
Leyla Namazova-Baranova and all the amazing medical specialists and staff at the hospital in Moscow, who offered me the most professional medical care treatment I have every experienced. Thanx to you people I have a diagnose now (instead of in 2 months from now), I can sleep in my bed at night and I can now even play guitar enough that we don’t have to cancel the cruise.
Alexander Osipov and Jane Odintsova from Imperial Age who suggested me to fly to Moscow instead and who also arranged everything for me there. If it wasn’t for you guys I would have canceled the cruise by now.
Johan Kullberg has decided to leave the band due to different goals in playing music. Departure is on totally friendly terms and we will be looking for a new permanent drummer the upcoming months. Meanwhile Fredrik Andersson (ex. Amon Amarth) will fill the space behind the drums and do 70 000 Tons of Metal with us. Best of luck from all of us to Johan!
“The last few weeks Christian and Nalle has been nailing most of the guitars. I did a few guitars my self, but was mostly acting as producer/engineer. You tend to hear things very differently when you play your self or when you record someone else and I tend to prefer the role as a producer more and more. For this recording we used some very different recording techniques compared to how we normally did it. AMAZING guitar sound!
We used 5 different guitars in 5 different tunings. Many of you may not be aware of it, but Nalle is a fantastic rythm guitar player! Due to the huge amount of material, he kindly offered him self to take some of the work load off our backs and play some of it.
95% of the guitars are done. Only some slide guitar, some clean chords and some acoustic guitars are left.”
The studio recordings of the Rock Opera have officially begun! After 2 days of tests and some technical hassle (tons of new equipment installed), we today conducted the first day of recording. Sounds good. It’s the first time we record drums at Adulruna Studio. But we had Maestro Lennart Östlund from Polar Studios here doing the set up and tweaks for us, so we didn’t expect anything less. :)
Chapter 1 +2 is now nailed.
The iOS game “Never Gone” is released worldwide (except Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, France, Germany and Japan)! The game contains music from Therion and you can play with game characters inspired by band members:
And here’s also a special gift pack prepared for the first 200 Therion fans buying the game!
After downloading the game, find setting menu in the game, tap “REDEEM”. Redeem code: 270m3f302su6
Then the gift will be sent to your inbox in “Twinpeak Bar”.
All the orders made from the 5th of November will be shipped in the beginning of December.
You can still order items you want, but just be patient and wait until December. :)
Having had the fantastic Lori Lewis on stage with us for so many years, it was not an easy task to find another girl to fill her shoes on stage. We have auditioned a number of sopranos and also tried two of them (Isa and Sandra) in live situations, as this is the only way to really find out what a singer is capable of delivering.
We had a great time bringing them along, but in the end it didn’t feel they could live up to the expectations that both we and the fans had after Lori. We don’t like to take a step backwards, so we continued our search and through recommendation we got our eyes on the very talented Chiara Malvestiti, who had the perfect voice for what we need, with a very strong upper register, strong vocal power also though the entire vocal range and a beauty in the voice that can give justice to the more gentle parts.
But being a singer is not only about the voice, it’s also about over all musicality (understanding and interpreting the compositions and it’s structures and harmonies). So it’s many things that needs to match to fit in. After the festival show we did this weekend, we all feel that we finally have found the right girl to continue on the same level of quality where we left with Lori.
Another thing. While rehearsing at Villa Adulruna for this show, we also used the moment to have Chiara making an audition for one of the main roles in the Rock Opera. Good news – she got the job!
So far we have 3 of the 4 main roles filled for the recording of it (Thomas Vikström, Lori and Chiara). For the live performance we will have to look for someone else doing Lori’s role, as she decided to withdraw from touring – but who knows, maybe there could be some special event where she appears on stage with us performing her role as the wife of Anti-Christ. Only time will tell.
The rock opera is progressing really well and Chris estimate it will be finished this year (in terms of composing). So we can expect it to be launched some time during 2016. The compositions are getting stronger with each new contribution and if it becomes a success, the band will be busy for a long time performing the rock opera. And once that is done, it will of course take time before another new regular album is out and a tour will follow that. So when an offer came up from a promoter to do a European Best Of tour in January, it felt like a good idea to pick up the opportunity to play some classics, so the band won’t loose contact with the fans meanwhile.
You can see the tour dates here: