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LEMURIA

Therion

Progressive Metal


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5 stars When I bought this album I didn't expect much from it. But after the first five songs I was amazed (although I still can't get used to the "screaming" voice in song 1 and 3). This album is great. The orchestra (Prague Philharmonic Orchestra) and the opera voices complete the album. 9,5/10

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Send comments to ---Progman--- (BETA) | Report this review (#31047)
Posted Tuesday, June 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
dexo_m@hotmai
4 stars There is a little mistake in one song; Quetzalcoatl, he is part of the aztec mythology not from the mayan, and he is not considerated as a God of the sun, he was the God of life (something like Jesuz) and the God of wind, the rest of the album, It´s a very good disc, it´s a convination of Classic music and Death Metal(please forgive my English but here in Mexico we don´t speak it, we only talk in spanish) .

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#31051)
Posted Thursday, July 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
m_i_c_a_@hotm
4 stars The album is really good, not like Sirius B, this one is really great. Some of its songs, like Lemuria, The dreams of Swedenborg and Utark Runa, make me forget of everything when I hear they, they are just great! The other songs are good too, but I think that Christoffer Johnson is loosing his touch, the music is on each album less synphonic, and the metal is harder, I think that some time he does something like the Deggial. Anyway the album is really good, so listen to it.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#31055)
Posted Wednesday, September 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
semismart
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars My my, Therion's Christofer Johnsson sure has been busy. Not one new album but TWO!

As I indicated in my previous review, Therion is about to release two new albums, Lemeria and Sirius B. For a six month period they will be packaged and sold together at a special price, a reward of sorts for their existing fans. After the six months they will be sold only individually.

Since I have the double album is what I've reviewed. Therion fans might be surprised by a slight change in their style and should expect an overall heavier and a little less melodic Therion. A return to their Heavy Metal roots in a couple songs with a touch of raspy growls but it is in conjunction with crunchy guitars and works quite well. This album kind of reminds me of how Dream Theater went heavier on their recent release Train of Thought.

What is the Same

Lemeria and Sirius B still have the elegant soaring choirs we've come to expect in all songs. We still have the familiar Therion Operatic Symphonic Metal sound in about three quarters of the songs, though less pronounced in about half of those.

What is different

Many songs have a stronger more definitive metal presence. A couple songs have elaborate guitar solos. Chistofer Johnsson ingeniously injects the choirs into most of the heavy metal numbers. One very good song, "Kali Yuga part 1", is unrecognizable as Therion. One song Typhon has some Death Metal type Growls and a dance beat and "Feuer Overtüre/Prometheus entfesselt" has some Rammstein style singing. There is a lot more variations from song to song than usual.

If you were hoping Therion's new releases are more of the same wonderful music that was included in Therion albums, Theli through The Secret of the Runes, you may be disappointed. For you, it seems Lemuria may be a safer bet, with more of the older (as opposed to original) style of music with songs such as "Lemuria", "The Dreams of Swedenborg" and "An Arrow from the Sun". However, some of these like "An Arrow from the Sun" and "Son of the Sun" on Surius B have a heavier sound.

Conclusion

More than 170 musicians and singers participated in the creation of Lemuria / Sirius B with the recording sessions taking over nine months. With this release, Therion have taken on the challenge of revisiting their roots. Therion have, until now, not been able to meld the harder facets of their early years with the new bombastic symphonic aspects for which Therion have become renown for, like they have on this album!

I like the new direction of Therion. There is nothing wrong with their older material, after all it is all five stars, but this is an exiting change of pace. a fresh perspective from one of the most creative minds in the music industry. I think, in the long run I may like it more.

As usual with Therion, there are no mediocre let alone bad songs. I'm tempted to give all songs five stars but I guess there are a couple that only deserve four and a half stars. This(these) album(s) is(are) in the running for album of the year.

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Send comments to semismart (BETA) | Report this review (#31057)
Posted Sunday, October 17, 2004 | Review Permalink
tibor@acon.co
5 stars Ive always wanted this but never knew it existed! untill now! Being a huge fan of both classical and metal, untill now ive been making do with "Symphony X" and "Rhapsody" who are both great bands, but this takes things just so very, very much further! The night i got the double pack of "Lemuria" and "Sirius B", I must have listened to both albums at least three times each, alternating between the two throught the whole night because i couldn't sleep! The PERFECT blend of heavy metal and symphonic opera! Its like Tchaikovsky, Opeth, Wagner, Amorphis, Orff, Amon Amarth, Beethoven and Rammstein all seamlessly blended into one! I guess the closest thing i can compare this to is Orff's "O Fortuna" (famous from the film "Excalibur") or a heavier version Beethovens 9th symphony "Ode to Joy". Its classical genious gone heavy! Truely epic songwriting for the ages. Massive on Biblical proportions! Contrary to Progfrog's previous review, i believe even the death metal vocals on tracks 1 & 3 are great and tastefull! The music quality is consistently high throughout both albums in the double pack, though the style is varied enouth to never get boring! I agree with what 'semismart' said in his review, especially about the last track sounding like Rammstein! LOL!

Hint: Get the double pack! They are both great!

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#31058)
Posted Sunday, December 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
Vanwarp
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Therion have been making music for 15 years now. They use classically trained opera singers (both female and male lead vocals) and include choirs and on this recording the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra can be heard playing along side the band. All of this translates into one of the most original sounds in classically influenced metal.

Founding member Christofer Johnsson concentrates on guitar playing and he uses guest vocalists from both the operatic and metal fields to lend their talents to his albums. As evidenced on the first track off Lemuria, we find a wide variety of voices being used right away. First we hear a female soprano style vox and then a male tenor voice before the gut wrenching death growl takes over on the latter part of the lead off track: "Typhon." The wide variety of vocals help to give the songs a theatrical quality.

So the scene is set, you are in an opera of sorts, a metal musical opera to be a little more precise. Not your thing, that's really too bad. For those willing to give Lemuria a try, you will not be disappointed. I was a little worried when I first got it, thinking it may not be as good as all the reviews led me to believe. But, I put my faith in those reviewers who have consistently recommended solid material in the past.

Song Highlights:

The opening riff and overall sound of the band on "Typhon" immediately reminded me of Megadeth's new album The System Has Failed, that is the use of classic heavy metal riffs and solos. But the wide variety of vocalists on hand, the choirs and all the orchestrations is what differentiates this album from any further comparisons to Megadeth. In addition, the solos here are more ethereal in nature, very sweet with less emphasis on thrash elements and more on beautiful melodies.

"Uthark Runa" opening cadence and middle-eastern flavor combined with its grand choir is very different from the opening track. Two tracks into the album and you already know you are in possession of an amazing piece of work. If I must compare, I would suggest to you that Therion's music is similar in a way to Blind Guardian, Sirenia, Tristania and After Forever.

After listening to the first part of "Three Ships Of Berik: Calling to Arms and Fighting The Battle", I must admit that I wasn't expecting such musical creativity at all. I was sitting all alone in AWE! This track is the first part in a two part tale about the invasion of Rome with the details of the battle clearly reflected in one of Therion's most symphonic musical moments on the album.

Personally, I prefer Therion's faster paced tracks over their slower, more atmospheric tunes. The title track is a good example of this. "Lemuria" is a really beautiful ballad and the music is very moving, with more "gothic" undertones going on here than usual. I absolutely enjoy this style of music but in my view, Therion really excel when they play flat out, full power on progressive metal.

The album slows down after the opening tracks, kinda settling into a slow to mid paced rhythm right up until the 8th track: "An Arrow From the Sun." This is perhaps the most accessible track on the album, with the female and male voices trading leads and the choir joining in during the chorus. If you want a slow introduction and not get into Lemuria too quickly, then "An Arrow From The Sun" is probably the best way for someone just getting acquainted with Therion's brand of music.

The last two tracks are a couple of gems. "Abraxis" uses a female soprano style vox along with a beautiful harmonizing choir in the chorus. The solos are awesome, one of the tracks that really impressed me on the very first spin and that has remained as one of my FAV songs on this disc. The album closes with "Feuer Overture/Prometheus Entfesselt." This song opens much like a soundtrack would with an orchestra setting the atmosphere for the track. This time a male lead baritone voice takes centre stage, a choir sings the chorus. Much like the previous track, this is a very good song, much better IMO, than the music we find in the middle of this disc. The music here really reminded me of Sirenia.

If you enjoy progressive metal recorded along side a philharmonic orchestra and choirs with male and female leads, then this is an excellent addition to your prog collection.

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Send comments to Vanwarp (BETA) | Report this review (#56268)
Posted Monday, November 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This time, the band used a huge orchestra - instruments and singers - so 171 people were involved in the making of the album. This resulted in a very symphonic album - the most complete work to date from the band. "Lemuria" is the first part of a double album and contains 10 songs (of the 55 written by the band since "Secret of the runes"). Though it is undoubtely more diverse than its twin "Sirius B", I tend to prefer the latter.

"Typhon" starts with the choir, but then you can hear something that Therion didn't do since "Symphony Masses": Christoffer Johnsson using extreme vocals! Nicely thought for a catchy song like this one. "Uthark Runa" is awesome: the full power of the choir and the orchestra is used here and a great performance by singer Mats Leven. "Three Ships Of Berik" is a very happy song - very operatic - but with extreme vocals again on Part I: "Calling To Arms And Fighting The Battle" (personally, I would have prefered clean vocals on this song). The title track is a ballad with great vocals from former drummer Piotr Wawrzeniuk. "Quetzalcoatl" is sung in spanish - the melody is a bit cheesy here. "The Dreams Of Swedenborg" is another mellow track with Piotr Wawrzeniuk on vocals. "An Arrow From The Sun" sees the return of the cheesy melody before the classic Therion song "Abraxas" - great solo from female solo vocalist accompanied with good guitar work. "Feuer Overtüre/Prometheus Entfesselt" is sung in german - one of those songs that have the "Secret of the runes" feeling with more male vocals in the choir and a darker melody.

Rating: 88/100

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Send comments to zaxx (BETA) | Report this review (#67325)
Posted Sunday, January 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Therion enlarges his musical spectrum and the result is a new masterpiece. "Typhon" is a strong opener with surprising modern sonorities and death metal voices on the chorus; the "happy metal" structure of Three Ships of Berik" is delightful while fans of oriental spelling sonorities won't be disappointed with the wonderful "Uthark Runa"). I will of course mention the magical chorus of the exotic "Quetzacoatl", the emotionnal power of "Lemuria" and "Arrows from the Sun" and the heaviness of "Abraxas" ( what a great guitar solo). Obviously, homage must be paid to Christoffer Johnsson's talent of composer and to his capacities to surround himself with great musicians and singers. 5 stars, undoubtedly.

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Send comments to Philoops (BETA) | Report this review (#142727)
Posted Monday, October 08, 2007 | Review Permalink
snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Second album of the 2004 double-album Therion pair. It isn't just another part of double album ( on other CD) , but separate album with it's own music and atmosphere.

Starting from very beginning, the listener receive strong doze of real heavy/speed metal without any prog atributes. At a moment you start thinking that this album is targeted to heavy metal fans, Therion returned back to their usual music: dark sound ( remind me the music from old version of "Omen" movie) changes by chorals, middle-ages folk sounds, acoustic solos, bright melodism.

Every song is different in style on this short ( just 42+ min) album. Fireworks of sounds, styles, melodies plus heavy guitar sound almost everywhere.

Absolutely beautiful album, in a pair with "Sirius B" is Therion's best work till now.

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#240681)
Posted Monday, September 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
2 stars With the turn of the millennium, Therion changed from an inventive and creative force into a stale opera-metal merchandising unit, tossing out double albums crammed with formulaic song writing that may have boosted them to the top of the metal charts but also to the bottom of my 'exciting music' list.

The only thing they prove for me is their inability to come up with anything new and inspired. Most of the 4 minute songs here wear thin by the time they get halfway; the few exceptions that you might live through are sure to bore you to death after 3 listens. The song writing is really poor, sticking to unimaginative hard rock and metal riffs that have been around for 35 years.

Therion aren't capable to come up with anything interesting anymore. Every note on this album has been played before, either by other bands, or by Therion themselves, as they do not shy away from self-plagiarism. This album sounds completely uninvolved. It's sterile, polished, monotonous, dull and flat, operatic metal at its most cliché and hollow impersonation.

The only reason I've been able to churn out two stars is because Serius B is even worse. Here, at least the opening tracks Typhon and Uthark Runa still offer a hint of what Therion used to be.

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#251719)
Posted Thursday, November 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Part two of this power metal epic fares better than its predecessor, "Sirius B". "Lemuria" focuses on metal intensity and a more conventional feel, finding better ways to utilize the excessive opera of part one to construct some memorable progressive power metal.

In general "Lemuria" is speedy, chugging, melodic, metal riffing with variety in its tempo and dynamics to create a dark, gothic feel. The symphony is still here, but much more subdued, helping to create tapestries in the background to complement the quite between heavy crunch. Johnnson sings much more on this album, and although his voice isn't especially remarkable, "Lemuria" is much better for it. His clean vocals have an unsettling feel to them (sometimes distorted for effect), and the death-metal growls go along way. The operatic vocals remain as well, sometimes taking the lead, but the end effect has a much more collaborative feel.

Still, while the feel has improved, the songwriting is virtually a cookie-cutter of metal cliche; there simply isn't much imagination here, and in a project of this scope it shows in a big way.

Good for the occasional power-metal listen, but far from a metal-masterpiece.

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

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Send comments to Prog Leviathan (BETA) | Report this review (#258658)
Posted Thursday, December 31, 2009 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Set in a lost land, population 170

After the release of the 2001 concept album "Secret of the Runes", Therion toured extensively to promote that album. A live set was released in 2002 containing material recorded on the tour, but it would be a further 2 years before the next studio release was ready. Band leader Christofer Johnsson and permanent members Johan and Kristian Niemann had however been busy writing material for the new album, reportedly finding they had 55 new songs by the time they arrived in the studio. As a result, not one, but two albums were recorded. While these were initially released as a twin package, they are generally regarded as separate albums, and are now marketed apart (in much the same way as Bruce Springsteen's "Lucky town" and "Human touch"). Do not be mistaken in thinking that these are two full CD length albums though, while "Sirius B" is a respectable hour or so, this album runs to a rather paltry 42 minutes.

In an admirable nod to all the excesses that make prog the unique genre it is, no less than 170 musicians were brought together to work on "Lemuria" and "Sirius B". Apart from the now obligatory choir and orchestra, probably the most interesting of these is the return of former drummer Piotr Wawrzeniuk (who also appeared on the bonus tracks on the previous album) to sing on several tracks. The album's title relates to a mysterious lost land which provides the loose concept for the album. As usual, the lyrics are written by Thomas Karlsson.

The excesses of the production are briefly forgotten as heavy guitar riffs introduce "Typhon". Soon though the operatic vocals are up and running. Surprisingly though we also find some growling by Christoffer Johnsson making a reappearance for the first time since the band's early albums. The track makes for a spirited opener, with good lead guitar accentuating the upbeat nature of the song. "Uthark Runa" has a slightly slower pace, the marching drums which introduce the track giving way to lead vocals by guest Mats Levén. These first two tracks, while featuring the now usual operatic vocals, are unusually straightforward compared to what we have come to expect from Therion.

The two part "Three Ships of Berik" only runs to 4 minutes in total, but it is the first real introduction to the orchestra. Once again, growling returns, but here it is set against a pulsating wall of sound with guitar, massed vocals and orchestration competing for centre stage.

The title track changes the mood completely. Here, acoustic guitar accompanies solo female operatic vocal, the song evolving into a delightful chorale. Piotr Wawrzeniuk adds a fine, slightly distorted voice to the proceedings. The oddly named "Quetzalcoatl" continues in a similar vein to "Three Ships of Berik", the vocals becoming increasingly theatrical. "The Dreams of Swedenborg" finds Wawrzeniuk making his second vocal contribution, the track being much more rock orientated than its peers. We still have the female vocals, but here they are in a strictly supporting role.

A ticking beat and soprano voice introduce "An Arrow From The Sun" before lead guitar introduces an orthodox Therion number. "Abraxas" pounds along to a highly infectious rhythm, the vocal arrangement here is the finest on the album. The album closes with "Feuer Overtüre / Prometheus Entfesselt", which features lyrics in German. Wawrzeniuk makes a final appearance, his distinctive voice sitting well with the rock orientation of the song.

Despite the massed line up "Lemuria", more than its twin "Sirius B", signals a pulling back from the theatrical orchestration and operatics which have been a feature of recent Therion albums. This trend would continue on the following studio album. For me, some of the tracks therefore have a feeling of being a underdeveloped, something also reflected in their brevity individually and collectively. There is still much to enjoy here, but I find overall "Lemuria" does not achieve the magnificent standards set by its immediate predecessors.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#260838)
Posted Thursday, January 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Whenever bands do the "two albums recorded at the same time" deal, I always get a little suspicious. Do they not have the confidence in the material to put it out as a double album? Are they going through a creative crest, or are they simply letting their quality control get slack?

On Lemuria, companion album to Sirius B, Therion seem to be spinning their wheels a little. It's fast-paced symphonic metal which doesn't really distinguish itself very much from superior material from this phase of the band's career like Secret of the Runes - heck, both Vovin and Deggial had more standout moments than this. If you are very, very fond of Therion's early- 2000s sound, then more of the same might sound like a good deal to you, but I am left feeling unsatisfied.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#1171746)
Posted Tuesday, May 06, 2014 | Review Permalink

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