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Released: n/a, Nuclear Blast
Sweden's Therion has always been a band who I enjoyed, but never LOVED. Albums such as LEPACA KLIFFOTH and their 1996 epic THELI all made their way into my collection, but the band as a while never grabbed my full attention. It wasn't until 2001's SECRET OF THE RUNES release and the subsequent double live disc where my interest in Therion's patented Symphonic Opera Metal style resurfaced.
That said, I was anxious to check out Christofer Johnsson and co.'s latest double disc extravaganza LEMURIA/SIRIUS B. Needless to say, I left not only pleased, but downright awestruck. Clocking in at over an hour and a half, LEMURIA/SIRIUS B takes you on a ride filled with countles twists and turns. No matter what kind of Therion fan you are; whether you prefer the band's recent output or their earlier, deathstyled beginnings, you will find something to love here.
Both records are symphonic in nature, but the overall feel and atmosphere is way more laid back and organic than on predecessors SECRET OF THE RUNES or VOVIN. The production is warm and inviting, with each instrument breaking through the symphonic layer, shining their own unique light upon the festivities. From acoustic guitar, to flute, to the rich, choral chanting, everything can be heard perfectly.
The songwriting here is so emotional, particularly on LEMURIA, where tracks like "The Dreams of Swedenborg" and the title track fill the room with ambiance. Additionally, both clean and death singing have been brought back into the Therion fold, resulting in an amazing dynamic in such songs as "Typhon" and "Uthark Runa".
I don't think Therion has ever achieved a more musically balanced release than this double CD masterpiece. The guitarwork is utterly tasteful, with flawless melodies and harmonies floating atop heart-stoppingly heavy riffs. Memorabilty is also a key ingredient here, with songs like "Son of the Sun" leaping right into your subconcious with their infectious riffing and structure. LEMURIA and SIRIUS B remain an enigma to explain. They are each unique and extraordinary in their own way. Metal to the bone, yet beautiful to the core, Therion is art metal at it's finest. You would be hurting yourself if you did not add this to your collection as soon as possible. Magnificent.--mg
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