If you are a fan of Therion chances are you have seen Linnéa Vikström belting out her vocal talents on stage, along with her dad Thomas. If so you have no doubt been impressed with her performance as she certainly holds her own amidst so much talent and is an impressive force in both voice and command. I have often thought she should be getting some attention within her own band and in fact she has in both The Paralydium Project and The Experiment No.Q albeit in the latter amidst another rather cluttered cast list. Now it feels like she is really helming something in her own right thought with QFT. Yeah I looked at the name and thought what does the acronym stand for and at first thought Quoted For Truth or some sort of modern day text speak rubbish but nope Linnéa’s interests are much more high-brow than that and has a love of all things astronomy wise; QFT in fact standing for Quantum Field Theory. Could she be following in the footsteps of Professor Brian Cox? Well thankfully not as far as her music is concerned, you can breathe a sigh of relief, things can only get better in that respect. Armed with three musicians, who although not getting as much in the publicity front as the vocalist, include her fiancée and various members of the band Dynazty. Live In Space is not a live recording as the title may suggest but a debut album consisting of 9 tracks and a cover song. Let’s buckle up the seatbelts and jet off into the outer limits of the galaxy.
Well we start at ‘The End Of The Universe’ somewhat again misleadingly and it is a choppy and somewhat tumultuous place as one would expect. Starting off melodiously Linnéa packs plenty of power and punch into a track which gradually builds around her strident tones and progressive soundscape with vintage keyboards and rolling drums. It’s epic in sound if not in length and will certainly have you sitting up and taking notice as the ever rising vocals build into a vacuum packed crescendo and finalise with a scream that makes you think worlds have definitely torn themselves to pieces. Perhaps more traditional ‘The Big Bang’ is more of a happy-clappy power metal romp and one not without a certain amount of cheese about it. Can you imagine loads of people waving lighters in the air and dancing about to a song about the creation of the universe? One listen and you will be in exactly that place and you can see this going down great live and bringing about a party like atmosphere. The songs bring various elements to the table and there’s no shortage of ideas to endear you to them, all in the name of science of course! I particularly like the helplessly being dragged through space vibe of the music on ‘Black Hole’ with its damn catchy chorus and skilful use of rhyming in the lyrics, you’ll be singing along in no time and if you make it out the other side a bit of peace will be found with the calming tones of power ballad ‘QFT’ but you were expecting at least one song in that style, right?
‘Aliens’ are naturally cruising, watch out for them and some great chugging musicianship which has a classic metal feel about it. The scope of ‘Time’ sees the singer not quite going full operatic but “losing her mind” in style and the wonder of a ‘Quasar’ is negotiated with rocky and jaunty rhythms and vibe of wanderlust. By the time we hit ‘Light Speed’ things are totally choppy and we are getting a good old ride from the vocals which really belt it out in a sassy manner. Having already destroyed the universe at the start the ending is left for a cover of Jóga by Bjork. Can’t say I know the original but it fits in and does sound like her to quite a large extent.
This one is definitely a grower, I wasn’t sure at first but repeated listens have made me appreciate the skill and song-craft behind it, some of the numbers really stick in your skull and the subject title can’t be faulted; I always appreciate music that might engage the listener to learn something. All in all a solid debut and one with definite scope for spilling over into the live arena. It’s a damn site more accessible than the last Therion album too.
(7.5/10 Pete Woods)