When it comes to symphonic metal, Therion is one the first bands that comes to one's mind. Their classically influenced music, with flavors of 70s progressive/symphonic rock and a traditional 80s heavy metal dimension, so evocative and intriguing, travels us to beautiful sonic landscapes, where we get lost in wonderful illusions. The new album of Therion, "Leviathan II", is the second part of the Leviathan trilogy and piques our interest with its high music value. Christofer Johnsson has prepared something magical and majestic, the symphonic soundtrack of an adventurous ride. Myth of Rock contacted immediately Therion mastermind Christofer Johnsson (guitars, keyboards, etc.) and the result was a very interesting interview, which you can read right here below.

by Dimitris Zacharopoulos 

Hello Christofer. Which are your feelings now, that you release a new Therion album?

It’s our 18th album, so it’s not as big of a deal like 25 years ago, of course.  And it’s also very different in these streaming days. Back in the past you’d know how the new album were doing a few weeks later seeing the chart entries. And the figures of the first sales 6-9 months after the release. Today you can see immediately what songs people prefer in the streaming and so on. 

How do you remember the previous Therion album, “Leviathan”? If you had the chance, would you change something in this album?

To me “Leviathan I”, “Leviathan II” and “Leviathan III” are like three flowers goring in the same soil. So it’s very connected also to this release and the next one. I’m happy with the response. Every album we made have things I would change. There is no such thing as perfection. 

Where would you trace the differences between “Leviathan” and “Leviathan II”? Are these two albums connected musical wise?

“Leviathan II” is a bit darker and more melancholic. We’re making a trilogy, all those albums are connected as we wrote and partially recorded them all at the same time. 

Where do the lyrics of “Leviathan II” refer to? Are you inspired again by the occult/mythology/ancient traditions? Do you try to send messages through your lyrics? 

Various occult and mythological themes as always. There are never any messages in the lyrics. 

 When and where was “Leviathan II” recorded? Who did the mixing and the mastering? To which things did you pay attention during the whole production process?

It was recorded in various studios all over the planet and then mixed and mastered by Erik Mårtensson in Sweden, just like “Leviathan I”. 

Who are the main songwriters in Therion today? How is usually a Therion song composed nowadays?

Me and Thomas Vikström write basically everything. We both write on our own, but most songs we write together. Someone have an initial idea and mail it over to the other who then maybe get some idea how to continue to develop. Sometimes we write half each, sometimes it’s either mine or Thomas' song that the other one just made some smaller additions to. 

Musically you are inspired by classical music and progressive rock of the 70s, apart from classic heavy metal of the 80s. Please, can you name your five favorite classical music composers, your five favorite progressive rock bands and your five favorite classic metal bands?

Not so many progressive bands, it’s more symphonic and regular 70s rock bands. Classical: Richard Wagner, Ludwig van Beethoven, Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Prokofiev, Richard Strauss, Progressive/symphonic 70’s: Klaatu (the ”Hope” album), Eloy, Pavlov’s Dog, Mandalaband, King Crimson (early albums), Classic 80’s metal: Accept, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Manowar, Motörhead.

How would you define your music style in the year 2022? Would you agree it is “symphonic metal” with progressive, gothic and folk elements?

I never understood this urge to have super detailed descriptions labeling what metal you play. Therion is a symphonic metal band mixing all kind of stuff. I don’t think we have any reason to specify ourselves anyway. There was no other band calling themselves symphonic metal before Therion, so anyone into symphonic metal should probably know how we sound (regardless if they like us or not). 

Which are the music trademarks of Therion today?

Same like always I guess. We seamlessly blend a huge amount of influences. 

Which feelings of yours do Therion’s music/lyrics reflect?

Most often they reflect my interests, not feelings. 

How did the Covid-19 pandemic affect you as an artist and as an individual?

Covid itself didn’t affect us much, but the lockdowns and restrictions the authorities did obviously had a big effect. Touring had to be postponed and the albums had to be recorded on distance, as they shut down the airport here on Malta where I live, so no one could fly here to record and I couldn’t fly out. I guess my already low amount of trust in the judgement of authorities and the big masses got even lower. 

What do you think about the current war against Ukraine?

As artists we don’t make political statements, but obviously we don’t think of wars as good things. We want peace and love for everyone. As artists we however notice that the sanctions are hitting Europe harder than Russia and that it pretty much killed touring this winter, as there is an energy crisis that will become even worse. 

What should we expect from the upcoming “Leviathan III” album? Is its songs already written/recorded?

All songs for the trilogy were written in the same time period. Everything except some vocals is already recorded, it will be mixed later this year. 

Do you have any tour plans?

Yes. We will do three only shows in Europe (including one in Athens) due to the unfavorable situation here. And then we will go to Latin America for some 20-30 shows. 

 Your message to the fans.

 Hope people will like the new album.

Thank you, Christofer!

Thank you.



Pink Turns Blue, the post-punk veterans from Cologne, Germany, are traveling now all around the world, playing live shows in several big cities. Their latest album, “Tainted”, still sounds so palatable, so beautiful and charming, and its follow-up “TAINTED Tour 2022 EP” keeps up our interest. Myth of Rock had a nice chat with Mic Jogwer (co-founder/vocals, guitar), whose answers were more than interesting.

by Dimitris Zacharopoulos

With additional tour dates announced for select European locations, let me ask - how has the “Tainted 2022 Tour” been going so far? What memories does this tour leave to you? What do you remember from your concert in Athens?
We are seeing more young people than ever before. Girls and boys around twenty in all colors and shapes. They have their own fashion code. Colorful hair, a mixture of wave and hipster. Could well be that they have found us on Youtube and liked the videos. When we play songs from “Tainted”, they dance to those songs. And when we play our classics from the ‘80s, the old guys and girls are singing and jumping along. If I remember right, Athens was pretty packed with people dressed all black. In the US we have a mixture of all kinds.


Pink Turns Blue has just released the “TAINTED Tour-2022” EP. Can you tell us about this release? Would you say it’s kind of a continuation of your motif from last year’s album?
The “TAINTED Tour 2022 EP” is a mixture of bridging the time between the album release and the North America and UK tour. Shows got postponed and we feared that the time between the album and the shows became too long. So the EP is a reminder of the album theme and also consists of songs that were written in 2021, but were not yet finished to end upon the album. Definitely ‘Not Gonna Take It’ and ‘We Still Could Make It’ have the same spirit of rage and dissatisfaction with how us humans handle things currently.


Your latest album was “Tainted”. How do you see this album now? Would you change something to it, if you had the opportunity?
Of course we would like to change things. But is good that there is a release date and you can’t anymore. Often changes don’t make a song better. As a musician you have the tendency to overproduce and suck all life and magic out of it.


There have been a lot of definitions of your music style, post-punk, dark wave, alternative rock etc. Which is your music style, in your opinion? How would you describe your music?
For sure post-punk is the genre we are most related to. Coming from the 80s, and having grown up being either a ‘punker’ or a ‘popper’ many of my peers decided to walk on both sides. So our music has a punk attitude (everybody can do it, two easy chords only) and a pop side to it (melodies), but always a bit on the downbeat and sad side of things. Simple minds do rage or party. Complicated characters are difficult to satisfy. Somewhere between madness and arrogance.


Which were the bands that influenced you in the very beginning?
Hüsker Dü, Joy Division, Siouxsie and the Banshees. But also Laibach and The Jesus and the Mary Chain.


What music do you listen to nowadays?
I love to listen to young and unknown bands. Definitely still on the melancholic and sad side of things. Ideally with a very characteristic voice and own way of singing and even better with a guitar and a bass guitar. I guess you would call it Cold Wave or Minimal Wave -mainly Post Punk from bands that formed within the last ten years.

Why did you decide to name the band after a Hüsker Dü song?
Because that was my favorite song then. Very grungy and rough, but with a wonderful melody. Sung in a way that made my heart stop.


Your music has a sad, melancholic feeling. Which feelings of yours do you express through your music? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?
For me, a good song is always sad and hopeful at the same time. A sad song is a bit like crying. It relieves. It helps to heal your wounds. Wounds of love, of failure, of disappointment. A good song cures and gives you the strength to close a chapter and get on with your life. The sad moments make life so much more meaningful.


Where do your lyrics refer to? Do you try to send messages through your lyrics?
The main message is: you are not alone. And: it is better to be sad and try to gain strength by accepting that this world is far from perfect. I always wondered how people can party and have a great time, when millions of people are starving, get raped and beaten up, get confronted with racism, sexism, inequality. I guess there are three fractions on this world: the ones that try to cope with reality and make and effort to make it a little bit better, then the one who only care about themselves and try to have a good time (no matter what happens with the ones that were not so lucky being born in a rich country, white, well off parents) and then those who try anything to drown any sadness with alcohol, drugs, looking the other way.


Pink Turns Blue was formed in 1985 in Cologne, Germany. What do you remember from the first days of the band? What keeps you alive today, after so many years? Which are your ambitions for Pink Turns Blue today?
Then and today it happens that I meet someone where I have never been before in my life and that person has either a happy smile of bliss on his face humming or singing along to my songs. For some of them a song or two helped them through a difficult time or became a hymn of his life. These people are happy, because I was able to write and make music. What more can I ask. What drives me: I hope to write a new song that does just that. If I managed to do that: write a song that didn’t exist and give it to the world and it makes just one person happy for three minutes.


What do you think about the internet? At the end of the day, does it help the artists or not?
I think it helps artists a lot. Media and distribution are very much in the hand of the majors catering mass entertainment. If you are looking for something fresh, weird, authentic: you can find that on the internet.


How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect you as a band and as individuals?
It made things much more complicated especially for live promoters. Many have disappeared. Less clubs, less shows, smaller audiences. Let’s hope we all will recover at some point.



Which are your future plans?

In December we do a UK tour and in February we do Mexico and South America. In April we will do East Europe where possible. The war in Ukraine made it impossible to do Ukraine and Russia, which is bad. We might do a few more shows here and there in Europe, let’s see who is still daring to do shows in this times.


Send your message to the listeners of your music.
Hey everyone: thank you so much for listening to our stuff and we hope to see you very soon at one of our shows in your area. Just keep going. Thank you for your support.


Kajoshin is a name that every progressive music lover should note down. Kajoshin come from Italy and, led by Claudio Russo (guitars, vocals), are here to stay. Their progressive hard rock music has a charm that will conquer you. “Chrisalys” is the band’s second album and Myth of Rock grabbed the chance and talked with Claudio. Below you can read all the interesting things that were discussed! Go!

by Dimitris Zacharopoulos

Hello Claudio! Who were the founders of Kajoshin? When and how was the band formed?

It was 2008, when I left my previous one (an Italian rock project) and I decided to take a different path. I wanted to create a band that represented me, that was the fruit of my passion for progressive rock. In Italy it is not easy to propose independent music and what I had in mind was mainly instrumental music. With a little difficulty, I managed to create the first Kajoshin nucleus in a year.

Which is the current line-up of the band? Present to us the members of the band!

The band is formed by me precisely on guitar and vocals (as well as the authoral part), Alberto Pigazzi on drums (a character who comes from the environment of independent reggae music, but with a past also in metal bands), Eros Pipinato on bass (a friend I have known since childhood, a great musician with a funky and rock background). In the last album, Elena Pavanello participated, a very good singer and also with skills in the managerial field.

Why did you name the band Kajoshin? Why did you name the new album “Chrisalys”?

Kajoshin is an old childhood nickname of mine, it has no meanings in itself (and it doesn't even have to do with the Dragonball manga that was fashionable a few years ago here in Italy), but simply an imaginative distortion of my name. I chose "Chrisalys" for our latest album, because I felt the need for change within me, not just in music. The chrysalis has within it both the old (caterpillar) and the new (the butterfly) and I think it perfectly replicates the music on the album.

“Chrisalys” is the second album of Kajoshin. Where would you trace the differences between “Chrisalys” and your debut, “Armi Di Seduzione Di Massa"?

I think there is more maturity in the writing of the last record. The old one was the result of the combination of several musicians, where everyone put his own. In this work I wrote all by myself, assisted in the production phase by Alberto Pigazzi who in addition to being a good drummer is also an excellent studio technician and arranger. Oh, I forgot: the old record was sung in Italian.

Kajoshin dissolved in 2013. What helped you to return and release a new album?

We disbanded due to musical differences and also due to different life choices. In 2015 I recorded a solo album entitled "Eternal Sunshine". I needed to rediscover that group dimension so dear to me and I didn't want to throw away the work done previously. So I decided to try again.

When were the songs of “Chrisalys” composed? Who is the main composer of the band? How is a Kajoshin song composed?

The main composer of the band is me and on this particular album I did almost everything by myself, while in the 2012 album the songs were written mostly together with the other members. The track "Chrisalys" was written a few years ago, using David Gilmour-like delays in "Run Like Hell". The atmosphere of the piece is very different from that of Pink Floyd and it seemed appropriate to me when writing the album to include it as a title track.

How would you describe Kajoshin’s music to someone, who has never listened to the band?

I would say that it is a classic rock formation, where a lot of space is left for instrumental parts, atmospheres, with references to vintage progressive, but with more modern and compact sounds. The songs are sometimes very different from each other and deliberately to create emotional friction and unexpectedness.

Which are your main music influences? Name your favorite artists/bands!

Surely I love progressive rock and my favorite band, since I was a child, is King Crimson. I listen to and love all classic rock, the 60's, the 70's ... and many more modern bands too. If I hear someone doing unusual stuff, I'm interested.

How important is improvisation for Kajoshin?

Very, very much. A lot of ideas were born like this, even if on the last record I did a lot by myself, manipulating more the music in pre-production. In concert the pieces are defined, but there is always room to put your own, to make the show always alive.

How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect you as a band and as individuals?

In this regard, you could write a book ... joking aside, there is very little to laugh about, the pandemic was one of the causes of "Chrisalys". Being at home for so many days made me think and the desire to get back on track with new music rose spontaneously. I think especially for us in the band, the hard time we have lived has brought us together more than before.

Do you play live in concert? How do Kajoshin sound live? Do you have any tour plans?

Live we try to create an organic show. Some pieces are performed as per record, others, those that lend themselves better, are lengthened or modified to make them more palatable. I think it's important to create a certain expectation, a certain suspense in the audience, and then please them. Sometimes we even put in some covers of artists we love. We do not currently have a tour program, but we are planning for 2023.

Which feelings of yours do you try to express through your music?

Making music for me and above all the instrument I play, the guitar, has always been a place where I can feel myself, where fear disappears, where I can fly. Especially in the last two years, music is taking on more and more a spiritual value.

Which are your ambitions/your goals for Kajoshin?

First we would like this collaboration with WormHoleDeath to go well and continue. We would love to play abroad and it will be on this path that we will work.

Claudio, send your message to the listeners!

Dear listeners, if you want to enjoy our music, sit back, close your eyes and let yourself go. Maybe don't stop for the first time, some pieces need to be decanted like a good wine. Be curious. If you like our music, please support us.

Thank you very much for this interview!

Dimitris, thank you very much for this chance. Best wishes.

Kansai Progressive Rock Orchestra is a newcomer band, whose name says it all - they come from Japan and they play in a fantastic progressive rock style. Their superb self-titled debut album was originally released in 2020 and sees now again the light of day via WormHoleDeath. KPRO rises as a new force in the international progressive rock scene and Myth of Rock comes in contact with the band, in order to examine its peculiar case. Good music enthusiasts shall check this band, because its songs are at least remarkable! Read what Yasuhiro and Dune answered to our questions! ... 

by Dimitris Zacharopoulos

When and under which circumstances was Kansai Progressive Rock Orchestra formed?

We each played in progressive rock bands, so we knew each other well before we formed. And we would get together for drinks whenever we had the chance. The idea for the formation of the band was conceived by Yasuhiro at a drinking party.

Present to us the members of the band.

Yasuhiro Nishio (guitar): guitarist and composer of Show-Yen. Show-Yen has released two albums on the French label Musea and one independently. He is left-handed and plays a right-handed guitar upside down like Jimi Hendrix. Derollin’ Kataoka (Melodion): after joining Magdalena, he formed the band Derollin' in 1997 and released demo albums in 2002 and 2007. In Derollin' he plays keyboards, but in KPRO he decided to concentrate on melodion. He is currently active as Derollin' and Koganeju. Dune Tanaka (Keyboards): joined Acropolis from 2010 - 2012 and participated in prog rock cover bands and sessions mainly in Kansai area. He also serves as the point of contact with labels and plays a variety of roles in all aspects of publishing, including website development and mixing the first album. Shohei Matsuura (Stick): a rare stick player in Japan. After working with Mugen, Magdalena, Midas and Punpkin Taste, he joined Derollin' and Acropolis and formed Koganeju in 2020. He is still active as Derollin' and Koganeju. Wakyo (Drums): He started playing piano at the age of three and started playing drums at the age of ten. He joined the brass band club in middle school. He also participated in local sessions and other activities from around the age of twelve. He is currently playing drums in a local band, while attending college.

Why did you decide to name the band Kansai Progressive Rock Orchestra?

Kansai refers to the region of Japan, where our members live. We named as "Orchestra" with the idea that in the future the members will be fluid and may increase depending on the music.

Your debut album was first released in 2020. Which was people’s response to this first album, until now? Why did you decide to re-release it via WormHoleDeath?

Even before the release of WormHoleDeath, the album had been picked up by Japanese magazines and was well received by some enthusiasts. However, sales were not good at all, and we were looking for a way out, when we were introduced to WormHoleDeath. By re-releasing our music on WormHoleDeath, we hope that more people will listen to our music. As a result, we look forward to the opportunity to perform in front of a worldwide audience.

Where was this first album recorded? Who did the mixing? The mastering?

Before recording, the arrangements were thoroughly rehearsed and decided upon. Each member recorded the songs at their own homes based on MIDI data created by the composer of each song. Dune mixed and mastered the recorded data to complete the album.

I liked very much the cover of album. Can you give me all the details about the cover?

The members discussed the concept of the album and conveyed it to the designers. Incidentally, the concept was based on Yasutaka Tsutsui's full-length novel "Traveling Lagos". The designers, Satoshi Tonokito and Motoyori Edure, did a great job in giving shape to our image. We think they did a good job.

Your songs are instrumental. Why is that?

All the members love instrumentals. We think some of the songs could have vocals.

Which are your favorite artists/bands? In your opinion, which artists/bands have influenced the music style of KPRO?

There are four composers in KPRO, so we think it is a fusion of their musical styles. Our favorite artists are: Yasuhiro Nishio- The Beatles, Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Jeff Beck, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. Derollin’ Kataoka - Arti e mestieri , Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, Locanda delle Fate, Return to Forever and Chick Corea - Dune Tanaka: Genesis, Camel, The Flower Kings, The Beatles and Ryuichi Sakamoto - Shohei Matsuura: Area, David Sylvain and King Crimson - Wakyo: Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and King Crimson.

Have you written any new songs? When do you plan to release your next album? What should we expect?

We are always coming up with ideas for songs. As for the next album, the content is still a secret, but we have started recording. Please stay tuned.

How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect you as a band and as individuals?

COVID-19 has stalled the flow of people. Even after the pandemic subsided, people's values seem to have changed. We're meeting more and more people online. We want to perform in public as much as possible because music is best heard live.

Do you play live in concert? How is a typical concert of KPRO? Do you have plans for a tour?

Of course, we perform live. We love performing in front of people. Right now, we are only performing in Kansai, Japan, but we hope to tour abroad someday.

How easy or difficult is it for a band to play progressive music nowadays? How are things for rock music in Japan, in general?

We think progressive rock is seen as the music of some enthusiasts. Even though it is not like that at all. So, we think it is difficult to be commercially successful in Japan.

Which are your ambitions and your goals for KPRO?

To have our music heard by people all over the world. And to perform in front of people all over the world.

Send your message to the fans!

Thanks for your interest in us. If enough people want our music, it will lead to the creation of our next album and tour. We look forward to seeing you all.